The famous clock in London stopped chiming on August 21st. It will be silent for the next four years. Big Ben, one of the main images on postcards of England, and the tower of the British Parliament are being refurbished.

Until 2021, the bells will only toll on very special occasions. These include New Year’s Day and Remembrance Sunday, the day when those who died in wars are honoured.

The restoration will also include Elizabeth Tower where the Big Ben is located. An elevator will be installed as an alternative to the 334 steps that lead to the top of the tower, which is 96 metres high.

Box: The bell of a century and a half

Inside the clock there are five bells, with Big Ben being the largest one.

Big Ben weighs 13,7 tonnes and tolls every hour on the hour.

The clock has worked non-stop for the last 157 years, except for two maintenance and renovation breaks in 2007 and then between 1983 and 1985.


Why was the bell switched off?

How long will the bell be silenced?


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