MPs have blocked plans to charge for public tours of the Big Ben clock tower, meaning visits will remain free until at least 2015.
The House of Commons Commission wanted to levy a £15 fee from July, but MPs condemned the move as "undemocratic" and "fundamentally wrong".
After a nearly two-hour debate on the subject, Liberal Democrat John Thurso, who represents the Commission, offered not to introduce a charge "during this Parliament" - which was accepted by MPs.
Leading the opposition to the plans on 15 March 2012, Conservative MP Robert Halfon declared that Parliament was "not a theme park".
"I hugely worry this place is becoming a place rather than a Parliament for the people, a place that is a theme park advertising weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, and engagement parties or big corporate entertainment shows," he said.
He feared the move would prohibit access to the tower, "the symbol of Parliament", and could lead to charges being introduced elsewhere in the Palace of Westminster.
But Sir George Young, the leader of the House of Commons, contested his argument, as he defended the introduction of charges.
"I have to say the ability to climb the clock tower isn't essential to the enhancement of our democracy, to an insight into the way the political system works.
"There is a difference between access to the clock tower and access to the chamber."
Conservative Sir Roger Gale disagreed: "If the clock tower is not important to the democratic process, and if it is not the symbol of United Kingdom democracy, why did Hitler spend so much time trying to bomb it out of existence?"
Shadow Commons leader Angela Eagle said it was important to remember that access to the clock tower "is not about access to this building in its working sense as a Parliament".
The Commission says up to 10,000 people take Big Ben tours each year, at a cost of £93,000.
Mr Halfon acknowledged savings had to be made, but argued they could be found elsewhere; a point echoed by party colleague Anne Main.
Other MPs were concerned the £15 charge could discourage school trips or people on average earnings from visiting the tower; while Labour MP Kevin Brennan said MPs should "always" be allowed to take their constituents on free tours of Big Ben.
After hearing the protests in the Commons, Mr Thurso agree to back down on the plans.
He said the Commission would "prefer to listen to the will of the House on this occasion" to ensure that the majority of a wider cost-cuttings programme could come into effect.
At the end of the debate the Mr Halfon's motion, as amended by Mr Thurso, without the need for a vote.