Buckingham Palace is best known as a residence of the British monarchs located in the City of Westminster. Today, the palace is the administrative headquarters of the Monarchs. It was originally built for the Duke of Buckingham in the early 18th century and has been in a private ownership for at least 150 years. However, during the 19th century, the Palace was enlarged by two British architects, John Nash and Edward Blore. Only few additions to the Palace were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East front, which contains the balcony on which the royal family traditionally greets the crowd.
Buckingham Palace was mainly built in Neo-classical architectural style, which was basically inspired by Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome architecture. The exterior was made of Bath stone in Neo-classical French design. The East front of the palace was refaced in Portland stone in 1913. The palace has a total of 775 rooms. Many of the original 19th interior designs have survived and are still to be seen, including the widespread of coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis. Smaller reception rooms were furnished in Chinese style.
• Buckingham Palace has the largest private garden in London.
• The palace has its own chapel, swimming pool, post office, doctor’s surgery and cinema.
The Buckingham Palace
2.6 The Houses of Parliament
Palace of Westminster, also commonly known as the Houses of Parliament, lies on the bank of the river Thames in the City of Westminster, London. Palace of Westminster, as it is now, is a replacement to a medieval building complex that was completely demolished by fire in 1834. Primarily, it was built as a residence of the Kings of the England until the fire destroyed the complex. After that, it served as the home of Parliament and the seat of the Royal Courts of Justice. Nowadays, the Palace is the centre of political life in the United Kingdom
After it was demolished in the fire there was an open competition for the reconstruction of the Palace. Charles Barry won the competition with his design for a building in Perpendicular Gothic style which is characterised by an emphasis on vertical lines. Barry was assisted by Augustus Pugin who was a real master of drawing details, trained by his father. Neither of them lived long enough to see the realisation of their master plan. The Palace was completed with Barry’s son Edward taking over the work.
The Palace was built with a sand-coloured limestone from the Anston Quarry in Yorkshire. However, the stone quickly began to decay and was replaced by Clipsham stone, a honey-coloured limestone from the Medwells Quarry in Rutland. Towers of the Palace were originally designed as chimneys. At the north-eastern end of the palace is the most famous of its towers, the Elizabeth Tower (former Clock Tower), commonly known as Big Ben.
The Houses of Parliament (Big Ben on the right)
The Lord Chamber is the most lavishly-decorated room in the Palace....