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World's Most Beautiful Clock Towers

World's Most Beautiful Clock Towers: Big Ben, London

Paul Hardy/Corbis

Big Ben, London

“Big Ben” was originally a nickname used for the gargantuan bell inside this clock tower. These days, the moniker refers to the bell, the clock face, and the 315-foot tower too—though the beloved icon was officially renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012, as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebration. Built from the inside out, the stone and granite tower got its finishing touch with the clock tower’s installation in 1859. The cast-iron minute hands proved too heavy, so they were replaced with today’s lighted copper hands.

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