Houses of Parliament

POSTKARTEN Project officially kicking off in London.

And with the Olympics on, I thought what would be a better way than to start off with iconic London’s Houses of Parliament?  Postcard was found in Camden Passage, Angel in an antiques market.

POSTKARTEN Project: Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament, London

The Palace of Westminster or the Houses of Parliament was designed by 19th Century architect Sir Charles Barry and is a wonderful example of Gothic architecture. The history of the Houses of Parliament spans over 900 years from the Anglo-Saxons to the present. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Palace is now a mixture of both ancient and modern buildings, and houses an iconic collection of furnishings, archives and works of art. The Clock Tower, now commonly known as the The Big Ben was completed in 1859.  Big Ben was originally the name given to The Great Bell but now Big Ben is collectively the clock, bell and tower.

Some interesting facts:

  • Wesminster Hall is the oldest surviving part of Westminster Palace, first built by William the Conqueror’s son in 1097.
  • The Houses of Parliament were almost completely destroyed by a fire in 1834 and was rebuilt and completed on 1870.
  • Protestant James I became King of England in 1603.  He wasn’t known being the most tolerant of Catholicism and Robert Catesby planned to end his reign by blowing up the House of Lords.  In early 1604 he began recruiting others to his cause which included the ill fated Guido Fawkes.  An anonymous letter was sent and alerted authorities on the eve of the planned explosion.  Parliament was searched and Fawkes was discovered guarding the barrels of gunpowder to be used in the explosion.   This day became synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot, the failure of which has been commemorated in England since 5 November 1605. His effigy is traditionally burned on a bonfire, commonly accompanied by a firework display.