Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

#Varoufexit: Greece's Finance Minister Bows Out

Read more

THE DEBATE

What now? Uncertainty for Greece and for Europe - part 1

Read more

THE DEBATE

What now? Uncertainty for Greece and for Europe - part 2

Read more

REVISITED

One year after Gaza war, residents still struggling to survive

Read more

REPORTERS

Libya in search of unity

Read more

ENCORE!

Tina Arena: Love, loss and la langue française

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

History’s worst tragedies: Would you have resisted?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Lithuanian president: 'Greek govt is not willing to take responsibility'

Read more

FOCUS

Violence and chaos await migrants in Libya

Read more

Europe

Big Ben rings 150th birthday bell

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-13

To mark the 150th anniversary of London's Big Ben first chiming on Saturday, July 11, the message "Happy Birthday Big Ben, 1859 - 2009" is being projected onto the tower, one of the most popular landmarks in the English capital.

AFP - Big Ben, one of London's most familiar landmarks, celebrates the 150th anniversary of its first chiming on Saturday.
  
The Great Bell, housed in Saint Stephen's Tower which adjoins Britain's House of Commons, first struck the hour on July 11, 1859, and has been interrupted only occasionally for maintenance and bad weather ever since.
  
To mark the anniversary, the message "Happy Birthday Big Ben, 150 years, 1859 - 2009" will be projected on the tower.
  
These days, the name Big Ben is frequently used to describe the tower, one of the British capital's most photographed sites, but the nickname was first given to the bell alone.
  
The origin of the name is thought to come from Sir Benjamin Hall, the First Commissioner of Works and Public Buildings, whose name is inscribed on the bell.
  
Mike McCann, Keeper of the Great Clock, said: "After 150 years, Big Ben still holds a special place in the hearts of Londoners and the world as a magnificent example of engineering and building genius."
  
The 96-metre (315-foot) high tower which houses the clock was built as part of the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament by architects Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin following a major fire in 1843.

Date created : 2009-07-11

COMMENT(S)