LONDON, U.K. (CNN) — The Big Ben, the bell in the Houses of Parliament’s iconic clock tower fell silent Monday and is expected to stay that way for the next four years while major repairs take place.
The clock, a marvel of 19th-century engineering, the 13-ton bell has been chiming nearly uninterrupted for 157 years.
It has been halted for a major renovation to Elizabeth Tower, the 188-decibel bongs too loud for the renovation team.
“This is the most extensive work that has ever been done. The tower is in pressing need of repair. And doing nothing is not an option. So based that we put together this extensive amount of works which really starts from all the way at the top and goes all the way to the bottom,” says conservation architect Adam Watrobski.
Locals and tourists alike are not too happy about the halt.
“What could be more symbolic than the sound of Big Ben, the sound of those big bells ringing out in the key of Across Westminster. People feel that they want to cling onto that is safe and they understand and it has been dashed from their very lips,” says Stephen Pound, an MP from Ealing North.
Tourist Peter Ellis is a bit emotional, stating that, “Big Ben is just what London is all about when I was little and you watch the news, 10 o’clock and Big Ben used to strike. All of the big occasions. It is going to be sad really, not to hear it.”
It will still sound on major occasions including New Year’s Eve, Armistice Day, and Remembrance Sunday.
When repairs are complete, the clock faces will have been restored to their colorful Victorian splendor, sounding off once again.