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Houses of Parliament

812 of 1157 nominations


Houses of Parliament

Is this an icon?


Houses of Parliament

Soaring above the Thames is the Palace of Westminster. Originally a royal abode, it was built by Saxon ruler Edward the Confessor in the 11th century, and William I moved there from the Tower of London after the Norman conquest. All this stopped in the 16th century when it was adopted as the assembly place for the House of Commons and House of Lords.

In 1834, a fire broke out that destroyed much of the old palace. The magnificent Gothic Revival masterpiece that we see today, designed by Charles Barry, was built between 1840 and 1888. The Houses of Parliament have thankfully survived most other turbulent times since they were built. Although heavily damaged after the London Blitz, the building still stood and became a symbol of democratic resistance to fascism. The “Mother of all Parliaments” is very popular with tourists, who can go into the Strangers Galleries to watch proceedings of either the Lords or Commons. The Commons can be highly entertaining during Prime Minister’s Question Time, when backbench MPs and the premier take part in that very English ritual of exchanging polite but vicious insults.

Photo: George Lewin


Your comments

As "Mother of Parliaments " the leading icon of democracy world -wide


At one time I would heartily have agreed that the Houses of Parliament were and icon of, not only England but of the United Kingdom. But now there is no such thing, as the Scot commenter above makes only too clear, and precious little democracy either. I suggest you replace this "icon" with a picture of a representative spin doctor or incompetent minister.

The first thing I have in mind when I think of London are the Houses o Parliament.
Nicole Schmitt

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My nomination is the garden shed.