Historic Buildings, Sydney

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    N.S.W. State Library

    by iandsmith Updated Apr 21, 2011

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    The northern facade of the State Library
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    The State Library is more than just one; indeed, it has been added to to accommodate various collections. They are as follows:
    The Mitchell Library
    Opened in 1910, the Mitchell Library houses unsurpassed collections of Australiana bequeathed to the people of New South Wales by David Scott Mitchell.
    These eastern Aboriginal ‘doors’, sculptured by Daphne Mayo, are located in the entrance portico of the Mitchell Library
    The Mitchell Library holds Australia’s greatest documentary record of cultural heritage. It also holds the world’s most significant collections of Australian and Pacific material, including the original journals of Abel Tasman, James Cook and Matthew Flinders.
    The Dixson Library
    The Dixson Wing was constructed in 1929, to house the extensive collection of pictures presented by Sir William Dixson. It also includes books, manuscripts, maps, coins, medals and stamps donated by Sir William during his lifetime, bequeathed by him, or bought from endowment funds since his death.
    The Macquarie Street Wing
    The Macquarie Street Wing was officially opened in 1988 (Australia’s bicentenary) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in company with Prince Philip. Its design as well as its contents ensure that it will continue to endear itself to future generations of Library users.
    The State Reference Library
    Located in the Macquarie Street Wing, the State Reference Library reading room contains a comprehensive and diverse collection of Australian and international research material. This includes printed books, journals, government reports, statistics, audio–visual material and electronic resources.
    It is also home to a number of specialist services, including the Legal Information Access Centre, the Health Information Service and the Family History Service.
    The wonderful neo-classical sandstone building compliments the other government buildings nearby so the whole block is worthy of your attention.

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    St. Mary's Cathedral

    by ATXtraveler Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    St. Mary's from the Air

    On the first ships to arrive in Sydney were several Catholic convicts in 1788. Over the years, there came a need to have a church for these Catholics, especially as they served their terms. In 1820, the first priests of the Catholic Church arrived, and soon after they began building St. Mary's. Soon after the cathedral was erected and stood in place until 1865 when fire ruined alot of it. It was rebuilt over the years, and has hosted many popes since then.

    We actually were walking by here the day the new pope was elected, so the bells were really ringing!

    Inside are some beautiful altars and stained glass windows, and outside you will see a beautiful Gothic style cathedral.

    The photo here is from the Sydney Tower looking down over Hyde Park onto the cathedral.

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    Sydney Observatory

    by Quero Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Although the observatory is in the Rocks district, it isn't something that you might just walk past and decide to enter. You have to cross a park and climb a hill.

    Once you arrive, though, you will be treated to a small, but interesting display of exhibits outlining the history of astronomical observation in Sydney. As you meander up and down stairwells, along passages and though the various rooms of the old observatory building, you may be surprised to find not only the scientific tools used in the past to explain what we see happening in the sky, but also a display depicting stories from aboriginal mythology. Back on the ground floor, in a room behind the entrance lobby, you can watch 3-D slide shows on selected topics (you wear special glasses to simulate the 3-D effect).

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    St Patricks Seminary

    by Rumi-fan Written Nov 29, 2008

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    St Patrick's Seminary building stands predominant on the headland at 151 Darley St, Manly - a Sydney seaside suburb. It is now leased for 30 years to the International School of Management.

    In 1859 the Catholic Church was granted 60 acres of land on North Head Reserve to build a Catholic residence.

    Construction of the College began in June 1885 and took a little over three years to complete - am maginificent effort considering its size and scale. Stone was initially quarried from North Head with the finer stone coming from Pyrmont by boat. The extensive timbers are predominantly Kauri Pine and Australian Cedar. Gothic in Style with Spanish flavour, the College at four stories high with a six level central bell tower covers 60,000 square feet.

    Nowadays you can dine there day and night. Outdoors eating areas are beautiful. A stroll over the lawns will give you a wonderful view of Manly suburb and also the Tasman Sea.

    Manly is easily accessible by Ferry from Sydney's Circular Quay. Its a 30 minute ride accross the harbour and a beautiful journey which you will remember long.

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    Forgotten treasure

    by iandsmith Updated Nov 17, 2008
    Sandstone treasure
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    Just down from Central Railway Station is an architectural gem.
    A service whereby the Rookwood Cemetery railway line served the Rookwood Cemetery complex. From 1867 until 1948 trains would depart Mortuary Station in Sydney City and travel the 15 kms to Rookwood Cemetery.
    That this station has survived is, in itself, a small miracle as another five have gone.
    The station opened as Mortuary on 29th June 1869. At some point its name was changed to Regent Street, after the street on which it is located. It has also been referred to by different names, including the Necropolis Receiving Station and the Mortuary Station.
    The Receiving station in Regent Street, Redfern was built as part of the larger Rookwood Cemetery line. It was completed on the 22nd March 1869 but had been used since the 1st January 1869. It was also one end of the service that ran to the Woronora General Cemetery in Sutherland, located south of Sydney, and for trains heading to Sandgate Cemetery in Newcastle.
    This station was built in conjunction with the Receiving House at Rookwood Cemetery. Both of the stations were designed by colonial architect James Barnet using elements from the Venetian 13th century Gothic style. Principle sculptors, Thomas Ducket and Henry Apperly worked on the elaborate carvings that were a feature of the stations. These included angels, cherubs, and gargoyles. Although both buildings were designed to look like churches, both in structure and it in the symbol elements that adorned them, they were never used as places of worship. From 14th March 1938 the station found a new use as a platform for horses and dogs. From February 1950 it was used as a platform for parcels.
    It was restored by the State Rail Authority in 1981. By this time it had also been classified by the National Trust of Australia and the Australian Heritage Commission and made part of Permanent Conservation by the Heritage Council of NSW. The cost of restoring the site was approximately $600,000. It was reopened on the 21st of April 1985 by Neville Wran.
    In 1986, Peter Shield and John McNally set up the 'Magic Mortuary', a pancake restaurant that used railway carriages to house the diners. Patrons bought ‘tickets’ from the former ticket office and then presented them to an attendant to eat their meal. However, the restaurant did not enjoy a long period of success and all the restaurant cars were removed in February 1989.
    Since then, the station has been used to launch special train services and public displays of trains and associated rail information (Oakes, 2002). In recent years the station building has seen use as a function centre, and during 1993 it was the venue for a number of boutique dance parties held both in the night and during the day.

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    Bring home the bacon - Hunt for the Pig!

    by xuessium Written Nov 3, 2008
    IlPorcellino

    This little pig goes to hospital.

    I have heard of this pig and it's not until just last month, I finally saw it.
    Nose all proud, legs all sturdy, standing in front of the Sydney Hospital.

    In case, you are still lost....I'm talking about a sculpture here.

    "Il Porcellino", is a statue of a boar/pig in front of Sydney Hospital, Sydney's first and oldest hospital, dating back to 1788. The hospital is located on Macquarie Street in the Sydney central business district and has occupied its current site since 1811. While the building itself is probably an architectural piece, it is the pig that I think is the star.

    You are invited to make a donation into the well, rub its nose (polished down to a golden hue now) and make a wish.

    Seemingly, there is a story behind the sculpture. Extracted from Wikipedia:
    ..."Il Porcellino (Italian "piglet") is the local Florentine name for the bronze fountain of a boar Il Cinghiale in the Mercato Nuovo in Florence, Italy. The fountain figure was sculpted and cast by Baroque master Pietro Tacca (1577 –1640) in 1612, following a marble Italian copy of a Hellenistic marble original, at the time in the Grand Ducal collections of the Uffizi, but which has since been lost or destroyed. Visitors to Il Porcellino toss a coin into the grating at the boar's feet and rub the boar's snout to ensure a return to Firenze, a tradition that has kept the snout in a state of polished sheen while the rest of the boar's body has patinated to a dull brownish-green. Copies of the sculpture can be found around the world"...

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    Night Soil Alleys in Newtown, AU

    by keida84 Written Jun 11, 2005

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    Night Soil Alleys

    hen we were on our walking tour of Newtown with Peter and Declan they pointed out so much about the architecture of the terrace houses, however, we came upon some alley ways behind the houses and Peter told us what their purpose was for.

    These passage ways were built so that in the middle of the night the "night soil" man would come by and pick up the, ahem, human waste products for that day. There was certainly no indoor plumbing at that time, no sewers or cess pools, so every night the people would place the waste out behind the fence so the "night soil" man could come and take it all away.

    Ugh! How would you like to have had that job? I guess one could say they had to deal with a lot of sh*t back then.

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    Town Hall

    by kielorla Written May 12, 2004

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    Town Hall

    As this trip to Sydney is a rush one, i dont have time to actually explore in detail, this is suppose is the town hall. I am sorry if i get it wrong, maybe someone can enlightened me. Nevertheless, the architecture is worth to mention on the beaten path tip.

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    Church

    by kielorla Updated May 12, 2004
    Church

    Along the street, I discovered this church, not very catching, but it has drawn my attention. Didnt have time to go into it to explore further but the building itself has already capture me. Sorry as i forget where i actually found this church, maybe someone can gimme a clue.

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    Kirribilli House

    by Canadienne Updated Mar 31, 2003

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    Kirribilli House

    Kirribilli House is the city residence of the Australian Prime Minister ~ I have to admit I was surprised how close we could get to it. Obviously, you can't enter, but it's a pretty lot and home. . .the lush green landscape in the neighbouring area is also lovely to wander.

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    A trip to Parramatta was...

    by Skylink Written Aug 26, 2002

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    A trip to Parramatta was interesting. The oldest building in Australia is Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta. One can get to Parramatta by train (about 30 minutes, A$4), by ferry (where one can see the river change from a wide, harbour-like Sydney to a narrow river in Parramatta, or by very slow bus (the L20 express bus took well over an hour, the slow 520 might take a week). I took all 3 ways.
    Near (east) of the ferry wharf is a memorial to the HMAS Parramatta which is the rudder from the first ship of that name. It was the last ship with an outboard rudder. Nearby (southeast - there are signs with maps all over this area) is Elizabeth Farm. The 555 bus passes close the the HMAS Parramatta memorial (it also goes to the central bus terminal) to Olympic Park. If you know this, you don't have to walk all the way to the central bus terminal. I went in the reverse direction (from Olympic Park and got off in Parramatta).

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  • Above all! visit The Queen...

    by AUSSIEGEORGE Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Above all! visit The Queen Victoria Arcade, by the Town Hall on George Street. This building once was offices of every description, and went through many changes til late in the 40's & 50's. Three levels of shopping for every taste, three things are needed in here; Money, Time & Money!
    Not very much at all one could call reasonable (cheap) Try to get there before noon, earlier if possible, position yourself on the third floor under the Cupola of Stained Glass,and watch the sun rising over the east window, over the cupola, and past the west window, a sight to behold.

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    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

    by kielorla Written May 13, 2004
    PUB

    Came across this very cute building. It is a pub and also the front door is very cute. Didnt go in due to time constrain but it worth a mention in the tip.

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