The Palace of Westminster, better known today as the Houses of Parliament
(the House of Commons and the House of Lords),
is the oldest royal palace in London,
a world heritage site and one of most recognized buildings in the world.
Built on the site of a medieval palace, and possibly a Roman Temple dedicated to Apollo, right on the River Thames,
the palace has been in continuous use since the first half of the 11th century.
Today the oldest existing part of the Houses of Parliament is Westminster Hall.
Built in 1097, it is the oldest ceremonial hall in Britain and was the largest hall in Europe.
The present Gothic palace has over 1100 rooms, 100 staircases, 11 courtyards and a 200m riverside terrace used for entertaining.
The most famous part of the magnificent Neo-Gothic building is the Clock Tower which houses Big Ben.