The Jubilee Bridge is quite unique, at least compared to the other bridges in London. First, it is the newest bridge I crossed–Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra dedicated the bridge on July 2, 2003. Second, it is one of only two pedestrian bridges. Third, it crosses the Thames twice.
Built on either side of one of the underground bridges which connects to the Embankment station, this bridge is really two bridges. Particularly for my project, it was very thoughtful of the builders to put a bridge on either side of the underground one so that pedestrians can choose which view of the river they get.
Downriver shows a great view of the changing skyline of London Town. St. Paul’s Cathedral still dominates its part of the skyline, but more towers are popping up around it. It almost seems like there are more cranes than buildings in this view of London.
The upriver span of the bridge provides an excellent view of the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. And speaking of Parliament, I recently saw that Big Ben has been renamed Elizabeth Tower (see article in the BBC news). While I agree that it is a great accomplishment for Queen Elizabeth to have reached her 60th year on the throne, I am quite dismayed by the decision to rename Big Ben. Big Ben is such an iconic and catchy name. I don’t see how Elizabeth Tower could possibly catch on. It is one thing to rename the King’s Tower as Victoria Tower, but quite another to rename Big Ben. It seems like there surely must be something else that Parliament could rename to honor the Queen.
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Although commonly applied as the name of the tower, Big Ben is the name of the clock, or more specifically, the large bell rung by the clock. The tower was called “The Clock Tower” prior to the renaming. So now Big Ben is in Elizabeth’s belfry.