London’s ‘Big Ben’ to undergo renovations, to go silent for four years

During the renovation period, Londoners will still be able to glance at the Big Ben and tell the time, but no chimes will be heard.

For millions of visitor, London is represented by a single iconic building: Big Ben, the most recognizable clock in the world. The four-faced chiming clock is also the largest in the entire world!

Londoners have been hearing the chime of the giant clock in Elizabeth Tower, without interruptions, for the last 157 years (though it stopped for shorter renovations in 2007 and in 1983).

“This essential program of works will safeguard the clock on a long term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home, the Elizabeth Tower,” says Steve Jaggs, Keeper of the Great Clock.

Watch: Interesting video of Big Ben – behind the scenes

The clock will chime at noon on August 21, then fall largely silent until 2021, reports the Guardian. The bongs, however, will sound on special occasions such as New Year’s Eve, notes Reuters.

For those who’re not aware, Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. It refers to both the clock as well as the clock tower.

Watch: Here’s a nice video that shows how the Big Ben is able to keep accurate time.

Useful Links:
40 amazing facts about Big Ben – and the Elizabeth Tower