Tag Archive | Melbourne

Cityscape

An Australian Point of View #1 Capital Cities

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world with a land mass of 7,692,014 square kilometres. Despite its size, Australia is composed of just six states and two territories, all with their own capital city. Every capital has its own distinctive architecture; some buildings are more well-known than others, but each plays a part in the story of its city.

Brisbane, Queensland

The heritage-listed Albert Street Uniting Church, completed in 1889, is dwarfed by the surrounding city tower blocks. By the early 1900s it was the main Methodist Church in the city and is now the home of Wesley Mission Queensland. With its Victorian Gothic architecture and its inner city position, the church is a popular wedding venue.

Melbourne, Victoria

The Arts Centre Melbourne is Australia’s busiest Performing Arts complex. Construction began in 1973 and the buildings were completed in stages, the last being finished in 1984. The steel spire is 162 metres high and is surrounded at the base by a ruffle of steel mesh reminiscent of a ballerina’s tutu.

Adelaide, South Australia

The scoreboard at the Adelaide Oval has been keeping track of cricket matches since 3 November, 1911. The heritage-listed Edwardian scoreboard is the only one of its type in the Southern Hemisphere and is still manually operated.  A tour of Adelaide Oval includes a visit inside the four storey scoreboard.

Perth, Western Australia

The Bell Tower in Barracks Square houses the Swan Bells, a collection of 18 change ringing bells. Twelve of the bells come from St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London and date from the 13th century. They were gifted to the city of Perth during Australia’s Bicentenary, while the Bell Tower was completed in time for Millennium celebrations.

Hobart, Tasmania

The Shot Tower at Taroona, just outside Hobart, was built in 1879 and was, for four years, Australia’s tallest building. Lead shot was produced in the tower for 35 years. Next door is the home of Joseph Moir, who constructed the tower and other landmark buildings in Hobart. The shot tower is still the tallest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.

Darwin, Northern Territory

Government House, on the Esplanade in Darwin, is the oldest European building in the Northern Territory. Completed in 1871, the house is the official residence of the Administrator of the Northern Territory. The Victorian Gothic design is complemented by wide verandas, which help to cool the house in Darwin’s tropical climate.

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Parliament House is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia. This is the second Parliament House and replaced Old Parliament House, which was in use from 1927 to 1988. This new building was opened in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II during Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations. The Commonwealth Coat of Arms adorns the front façade, and an Australian flag the size of a half tennis court flies at the top of the 81 metre high flagpole.


Sydney, New South Wales

The Sydney Opera House, opened in 1973, overlooks Sydney Harbour at Bennelong Point. Every year, more than eight million people visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and it hosts more than 1,500 events and performances. The Opera House becomes a focal point during Sydney’s Vivid Festival each June.


Participating in Becky’s #RoofSquares Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Descent

It’s seven o’clock on a Sunday morning. We’re all sleeping late after a family party the night before. When the emergency siren first sounds through the hotel we all wake and wonder what the intrusion is. Then, as the evacuation order begins over the speakers, we hurry to put something on over our pyjamas before making our way to the stairwell with a few others on our floor. It’s only when we open the door to the stairs it dawns on us that there are hundreds of people who all need to evacuate at the same time. From the 24th floor it’s a long, slow but orderly descent to the lobby and out onto the street.

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Luckily this turns out to be a false alarm – a sensor accidentally tripped in the hotel kitchen; eventually we are allowed back inside and up to our room. There’s no going back to bed though, after all that excitement!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Descent

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Threshold

Since European settlement more than 400 000 Italian migrants have called Australia home. After the second World War many Italian men came here to work while their families stayed in Italy. In the mid 1950s new family reunion programs meant that the families who had been left behind were able to join their menfolk.

The Reuniting Family shows the moment when the father greets his wife and children as they arrive in an unknown land. The trunk holds all their belongings, and in the words of the plaque that accompanies this scene it also “holds the hopes, ambitions and dreams for a successful future together.”

This family, depicted by Michael Meszaros, stands of the threshold of a new life.

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Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Inside

Being inside the State Library of Victoria is much like being in any other library in that the sense of quiet envelopes you when you walk in. Take the elevator up to the sixth floor gallery and you’ll realise straight away that this is not just another library.

The La Trobe Reading Room on the first floor of the library is crowned by a magnificent dome measuring more than 34 metres in width and height.

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The Reading Room was opened with much fanfare in 1913 and was lauded as one of the greatest structures on Earth at the time. The beautiful glass skylights filled the room below with natural daylight, perfect for reading. But the skylights leaked continuously and despite many efforts to fix them they were eventually covered by copper sheets.

Renovations began on the dome in 1999. The copper was removed and the windows repaired, and in 2003 the dome was again revealed in all its glory. The Reading Room was once more flooded with daylight.

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Bookshelves line the walls between the galleries on all six floors, with 32 000 books taking their places in the Australiana collection.

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Come inside, find your favourite book and take a seat. You won’t need to turn on the light.

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