Queen Victoria Building, Sydney

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 46 Reviews

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Qeeen victoria Building

    by mallyak Written Apr 30, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    The Queen Victoria Building has been described by Pierre Cardin as "the most beautiful shopping centre in the world". This outstanding example of Byzantine architecture, which occupies an entire city block, was built in 1898 to replace the original Sydney Markets. Later, it accommodated a concert hall, which eventually became the City Library. The building was remodelled in the 1930s and used for different purposes, including municipal offices. In 1984 it was completely refurbished as a shopping centre, with more than 200 shops. The renovations, by the Malaysian company Ipoh Garden Berhad, were highly imaginative and thoughtful. Most important, they retained the turn-of-the-century charm of the building.

    The building has a series of domes and domelets with exquisite stained glass windows and extensive wood panelling throughout.

    There is a marvellous hanging clock that displays a series of mechanically moving tableaux of British kings and queens every hour on the hour. This "exhibition" is heralded by loud trumpeters and ends with the beheading of Charles I. Permanent and temporary exhibitions have a home at different points on each level and include replicas of the British crown jewels and a highly ornamental, full-scale oriental coach. The building accomodates a series of royal paintings.

    The building is a major attraction for both visitors and residents and is open every day. Shops with Old-Worlde shopfronts are located on three levels and here you will find some of the most interesting shopping in Sydney, shops such as New Guinea Arts, which has a remarkable array of native artefacts from New Guinea.

    If you are interested in Shopping while enjoying the old world charm of the surrounds, then you will also enjoy visiting The Strand.

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  • stevemt's Profile Photo

    A Must Visit

    by stevemt Updated Jul 31, 2007
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    The building was completed in 1898 and named the Queen Victoria Building as a monument to the long-reigning monarch.

    It was in 1959 threatened with demolition, but was saved and restored thank god.

    Evferyone should come and visit this treasure

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  • lisha74's Profile Photo

    QVB

    by lisha74 Written Oct 21, 2006

    Sydney had several shopping arcades, but the QVB was the most well known and for good reason. The inside of the building is several levels and absolutely beautiful. As true with most of Sydney, stores closed in the late afternoon, but the interior was open later to walk through. We also found a cafe/restaurant inside that stayed open after all the shops closed..

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  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    The QVB

    by leffe3 Written Aug 26, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    as reflected in the Hilton Hotel facing
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    Completed in 1898, the QVB is a monumental exercise in celebrating the reign of Queen Victoria. Foreward thinking, the government of the day built this concert hall (the original use) during a time of recession and in such a grand manner to purposefully employ many out-of-work skilled and semi-skilled workers (as well as labourers etc). In time, changes have been made and for a time it was the city library and the headquarters of the City of Sydney Council. Amazingly, it was slated for demolition as recent as 1959.

    Nowadays, it's one of the places to shop, occupying one huge central city block and attracting all the international retailers of repute (and expense...:)). It's more a place to browse than buy (plenty of places cheaper) but certainly worth your time - and check out the toilets on the first (American 2nd) floor.

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  • The Queen Victoria Building - Part II

    by mke1963 Written May 2, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The whole building is full of interesting details, some of them not so small: there are several of the world's most spectacular clocks. The Royal Clock, made in 1986, shows episodes from English history and at the other end of the building, the bigger Royal Australian Clock, made in 2000, shows episodes in Australian history.

    It would be trite to say that they just don'tmake buildings like this anymore - they do. This building was largely 'remade' by the current owners and it is a god example of how commercial and retail buildings can become civc monuments and part of the very real heritage of a city.

    There is actually a lot more to see, including a royal wishing well, statues, the stained glass, a disaply on the Victoria Cross medal, and there are two daily tours of the building, at 11.30 and 2.30. These would be an excellent way to discover more about one of Sydney's most graceful buildings.

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  • The Queen Victoria Building - Part I

    by mke1963 Updated May 2, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Most go there to shop; some go to eat; a few got to the Queen Victoria Building to admire the wonderful architecture, the stained glass and the genteel atmosphere of this extremely graceful building in central Sydney. The rich red sandstone facade stretches along the slope of George Street, with bright red flags fluttering in the breeze.

    Inside, the polished mosaic floors and wrought iron detailing on the three floors make it a classy place, like one of those crutsy old imperial hotels. A number of restaurants and cafes make use of the wide walkways, and there is no finer place to have a bite to eat than in the dappled sunlight streaming in through the rooflights.

    The Queen Victoria Building was constructed at a time of recession in Australia, so we are lucky that the building exists at all. It seems that the market and municipal officials peresevered to replace the old markets that stood here, and the George McRae gave Sydney people something to be proud of, even if they were hungry. Originally the building housed a concert hall - later a library - and the showrooms of many local tradesmen. However, it was not long before there were calls for it to be demolished and Sydney is even more fortunate that the QVB survived; similar buildings in many cities have not. It may be a bit of an irritant to many Australians that it was a Malaysian company that actually undertook the restoration and renovation.

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  • imstress's Profile Photo

    Queen Victoria Building (QVB)

    by imstress Updated Apr 26, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Outside Queen Victoria Building
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    The Queen Victoria Building was constructed in 1893 as a fresh produce market and was named Queen Victoria Markets then.

    This Victorian style building was designed by architect George McRae and is located in the heart of Sydney's CBD.

    Both the interior and exterior provides very good photography opportunities.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

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  • globetrotter06's Profile Photo

    Queen Victoria Building

    by globetrotter06 Updated Apr 19, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    The Queen Victoria Building was completed in 1898, replacing the original Sydney markets on the site. Originally, a concert hall, coffee shops, offices, showrooms, warehouses and a wide variety of tradespeople were accommodated. Today the building still hosts several shops, boutiques and coffee shops.

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  • JeffandMerliis's Profile Photo

    Expensive shopping - don't buy... just go look.

    by JeffandMerliis Written Sep 17, 2005

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    This place is (technically) a shopping center but I view it to be more of a work of art. Ornate displays including a model of a jade carriage, a very beautiful clock, and art work that shows the founding of Australia. As far as the shopping aspect goes, there are many stores including souvenir shops as well as clothing, jewelry, and the other stores you would expect to see at any mall anywhere.

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  • kooka3's Profile Photo

    The Great Australian Clock

    by kooka3 Written Jul 27, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    QVB clock

    This clock was put into the QVB about 5 years ago in mid-2000, and is pretty impressive. It's suspended from the Centre Dome of the building, and is the world's larges hanging animated turret clock. It weights 4 tonnes and is 10 metres tall. There are 32 clocks, 12 of which show international times.There are 33 paintings, and 138 hand carved figurines.

    It tells the story of Australia from both Aborigianal and European perspectives. One of the key features of the clock is a symbolic Aboriginal figure that circles continuously around an upper level of the clock, representing the passage of time. It is based on a elder from Australia's Treeless Plains. As it pses by the scenes, some of them light up or become animated. To see this figure, it's best to go to the highest level.

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  • yellowbell's Profile Photo

    Shopping Mall and Museum rolled into one

    by yellowbell Updated Jul 20, 2005
    Queen Victoria Building

    The 1890's Byzantine inspired architecture became a concert hall, municipal offices and now a shopping mall. This is really the most exquisite shopping mall I've ever seen with it's stained glass windows, domes and wood panelling.

    Take time to look at the hanging clock which features moving tableaux of British kings and queens every hour, on the hour.

    It's a mini museum for me since the upper floor showcases permanent exhibition of replicas of British crown jewels and personal effects of Queen Victoria.

    Pictures of old QVB lined walls of the staircase.

    Related to:
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  • wkcsmt's Profile Photo

    QVB

    by wkcsmt Written Feb 25, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    QVB

    QVB is a grand shopping arcade with Romanesque architecture. QVB was built in 1898 to replace the old George Street markets and undergone refurbished in 1986. In here, you'll see exquisite stained glass windows, the 19th century staircase, architecturely detailed arches / balustrades / pillars...

    QVB has been described by Pierre Cardin as "the most beautiful shopping centre in the world". Come visit & you can be the judge!

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  • kooka3's Profile Photo

    Go if you're looking for high priced shopping

    by kooka3 Updated Jan 25, 2005

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    This building -- called the QVB by Sydneysiders -- is beautiful. If you're into nice buildings, go check it out. The shops, however, are very high priced - so if you're thinking about buying anything, be prepared for the pricetag!!

    Information Desks are located near the centre dome on both Ground Level and Level Two, where you can get centre directions, general information and a city map to assist you around town.

    The QVB also provides a guided walking tour through the QVB with a member of the Information Staff who are IATG certified Tourist guides. On the tour you will be provided with historical facts and figures on one of Sydney's most famous buildings. Tours run twice daily and leave from the Information Desk. Book through the info desk (or call the number below).

    The basement does have restaurants and a stop of a train station.

    The lower, mezzanine level (basement) provides one of the city’s busiest pedestrian concourses connecting Town Hall railway station to the Pitt Street Mall.

    At ground level, the gradual rise in George Street has been cleverly absorbed into the design with shops steadily rising in height along the length of the block.

    The QVB is open: M-W & F-S 9am - 6pm; Th: 9am - 9pm; Sun. & public holidays I I am - 5pm. Some stores, cafes, & restaurants open longer.

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  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo

    Queen Victoria Building

    by MikeAtSea Written Jan 11, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Queen Victoria Building

    The Queen Victoria Building, now affectionately known as the QVB, was designed by George McRae and completed in 1898, replacing the original Sydney markets on the site. Built as a monument to the long reigning monarch, construction took place in dire times, as Sydney was in a severe recession.
    Today it is home to some of the most expensive retail outlets in Sydney - its architecture is still striking though!!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • BerniShand's Profile Photo

    THE QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING

    by BerniShand Updated Dec 28, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    one of the automated clocks
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    what a great place to spend a very wet morning ! rescued and restored the QVB echoes with late Victorian grace and charm, mixed with stylish shops and quirky features
    When you visit make sure you are there on the hour for the automatated clocks to do their party pieces, the upper level gives you the best views of them

    other interesting things to see are the baby grand pianos playing away and the superb Chinese jade wedding carriage, even the toilets are a treat ! they are wonderfully restored

    its a great place to wander, window shop and meet people, dont forget to check out the lovely stained glass windows and the antiquated lifts

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    • Architecture

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