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Ottawa is a charming vibrant city with tons of interesting attractions. If you're not sure where you must go to first, Parliament Hill is a great start. Parliament Hill is Ottawa's most prominent structure. But above all, it boast a very elegant Neo Gothic style. It feels like something popped out of a fairytale storybook. Also popularly known as 'The Hill', Parliament Hill serve as the most renowned Ottawa's landmark attracting over 3 million visitors each year.
6 Awesome Things To Do In Parliament Hill
The Peace Tower is the first monument you must see during your visit in the Parliament Hill. It is characterized by a focal bell and a clock tower with pointy blue rooftop. The Peace Tower was erected to replace Victoria Tower which was burned down in 1916. Peace Tower serve as Canada's most popular landmark. Even, the tower was featured on the Canadian twenty-dollar bill adjacent to Queen Victoria's visage. Designed by Jean Omer Marchand and John A. Pearson, Peace Tower took form as a campanile or a bell tower soaring up to 302 feet. It incorporate various elements of stone carvings and friezes. In total, there are about 370 gargoyles and grotesques adorning the tower. The Peace Tower itself was built from Nepean sandstone for the walls and reinforced concrete covered with copper for the roof part. The Peace Tower is undoubtedly one of the greatest architecture in Canada.
Located inside the Peace Tower, Memorial Chamber is the true purpose of why the Peace Tower was built. The Memorial Chamber is a special vaulted room located above the porte cochere housing remnants and artefacts collected from the Great War. Numerous brass plates were planted on the floor. On the stone's surface are hundred names of fallen Canadians whom fell victim during the Great War. John A. Pearson personally collected each stones from the main European battlefields where many Canadians were killed. Canada's war role are also expressed from the charming stained glass window and stone wall. The chamber also house 7 Books of Remembrance. Each book recorded all Canadian men and women who died during The First and Second World War, and the Korean War. Each book is encased inside a glass case on an altar for all visitors to see.
Another important andmark in Parliament Hill is Centennial Flame. Centennial Flame is a fountain located near the Centre Gate (also known as Queen's Gates). You will pass this fountain if you're heading to the Peace Tower and Centre Block inside the complex. Centennial Flame was built by Lester B. Pearson on January 1967 to celebrate 100th Anniversary of Canada's Confederation. The flame at the center of the fountain is usually lit up all the times, with an exception of bad weather. Looking up closer, the fountain's ledge is adorned with 13 shields of Canada's provinces. Another interesting fact about the Centennial Flame is, it supposed to be a temporary monument. But thanks to public's enthusiasm and support, the structure remains to be one of main attraction inside the Parliament Hill.
Another interesting attraction you musn't miss when visiting the Parliament Hill is Canadian Police Memorium. Established in 1995 the memorial hall is located at the north of the complex taking form of a very long granite wall. The entire wall is embedded with the name of fallen officers who were killed in the line of duty since 1879. Since its establishment, the Memorial have contained over 860 fallen officers name from various department. That including officers from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Conservation, and the Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean.
Victoria Tower Bell located inside the Parliament Hill is the same bell which fallen from the Victoria Tower due to fire incident in 1916. While the original Victoria Tower was torn down and replaced by Peace Tower, they kept the bell as a permanent monument. The bell was retrieved and placed on the Parliament Hill's grounds in 2000. They even kept the bell's position as the way it was when it fell down from the tower.
Upon exploring the Parliament Hill, you might notice seven figures depicting different individuals and roles. The figures represent the War of 1812, consisting a First Nations individual, a British Infantryman, a Quebec Voltigeur, a Metis militiaman, Royal Navy soldier, a farmer, and a nurse. Nearby the stone monument is a large maple tree planted in a soil from 10 Canadian battlefields. The tree is also watered with water from six oceans and lakes which are significant to the 1812 war.
How to Get Tickets?
Entering the Parliament Hill is absolutely free of charge. The guided tours are also available for free. You can reserve your ticket either by phone or online too to avoid long lineups.
How To Get Around?
Getting around Parliament Hill can be done by walking.
What Should I Wear?
There's no dresscode rules in particular you must follow during your visit to Parliament Hill. But one thing for sure, you must wear the most comfortable walking shoes. Because you'll walk quite a lot here.
Best Time to Visit
If you are going to visit the Parliament Hill, it is best to visit during special hours. Summer (July-September) morning is one of the most perfect time to visit the Parliament Hill. The Changing of the Guard ceremony will takes place in the morning at the front lawn. And in the evenings you'll get to watch spectacular Sound and Light Show. It is a modern light show featuring colorful lights projection combined with lively music.
Will I Need a Guide?
You don't necessarily need a guide. You can take a guided tour if you want. But it is not a problem if you prefer to take an individual tour. Afterall, all vital informations about Parliament Hill can be found in this website.
How To Get There?
The best way to reach Parliament Hill from Ottawa Station is by taking a 61 Line Bus. The journey takes only about 24 minutes, and the rest of the journey can be done by walking for about 6 minutes.
If you're taking a guided tour, please keep in mind that you musn't come late. Please come to the Parliament Hill at least few hours earlier from your scheduled time. Because you'll need to go through security check at the entrance gate. Depends on the crowds, it can takes a quite long for the lineups.