After being silent since 2017, London’s iconic Big Ben clock tower is finally ready to chime once more. The clock tower, also known as the Elizabeth Tower, will chime 12 times to signal the start of 2022. Since it last chimed, the clock tower has undergone renovations and is now ready to ring once more.
When it was revealed in late November, one of its faces was revealed to the public. The all-new Big Ben features new blown-glass panels with intricate details. Now it has Prussian blue hands and numbers.
It is on track to become one of London’s most popular New Year’s Eve attractions. People will cheer as the Big Ben on the banks of the Thames River chimes once more. The fully restored clock should be available for public viewing by December 31st of this year. According to the UK Parliament, it will be struck with its temporary electric mechanism for the last time.
“By New Year people will start to see a big difference; they’ll start to get their tower back. The roofs will be fully visible along with the four clock faces. The government expects the clock to be gravity-powered again by spring, and the bell to resume its normal schedule then as well.”Nicholas Sturge, the Project Manager for the restoration
Augustus Pugin designed the neo-Gothic clock tower, which was completed on May 31, 1859. The over 100-year-old clock tower is finally being renovated with newer technology. The clock’s hour hands are now made of gun metal and weigh a total of 300 kg. This weights it more than 300 times more than the minute hands.
The towering clock is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, having survived Nazi bombings during World War II. It was, however, severely damaged by Nazi air raids in May 1941.