The Westminster Palace originally was built in the 11th century . The current structure is in the lavishly decorated Neo-Gothic style, was in fact rebuilt in 1840, following a disastrous fire. Since the 16th century the Palace has been the seat of the Houses of Parliament: the Lords and the Commons. The site which also comprises the small medieval Church of Saint Margaret, built in Perpendicular Gothic style, and Westminster Abbey, where all the sovereigns since the 11th century have been crowned is of great historic and symbolic significance. On each side of the palace rise the Victoria Tower and the Clock Tower, which shelters Big Ben, universally famous bell. The buildings containing nearly 1,200 rooms, 100 staircases and well over 3 kilometres (2 miles) of passages. Among the original historic buildings is Westminster Hall, used nowadays for major public ceremonial events.

Palace of Westminster