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.
The Queen Victoria Building, or QVB as referred to by the locals, takes up an entire city block and is completely filled with about 190 shops. All sorts of shops like clothing, jewellery, shoes, art, hairdresser etc. are presented. There are also loads of places where you can have a classy - read expensive - sandwich. However the lower ground level of the QVB is connected to the Myer department store and there you will find a superb foodcourt with cheap food of all sorts.
When you visit the QVB make sure you go to the top level where you can find Peter Lik's Gallery. You'll be amazed by his photography. Prices are quite steep, but if you want to have a souvenir like this, this is the best place to go.
The Queen Victoria Building is just not only for shopping...This fine Victorian building was left to fall into dissrepair until a few years back it was completely refurbished and now is one of the most beautiful old buildings in the city of Sydney. After the huge restoration project on the building it is now a major shopping location.There are over 200 shops here and whatever you like it is here..from fine clothes to to lovely chocolate..from books to ice cream smoothies..This is a place where you can spend a lot of time as there is always something new here..This is also the location of the Town Hall railway station.
The Queen Victoria building takes up an entire city block. The building is beautiful in its Romaneque revival architecture. The building was deigned by architect George McRae and opened in 1898. The building was named after the ruling Monarch, Queen Victoria of Great Britain.
The building has a central dome of glass and copper which gives the interior a open feel.
Stained glass windows are throughout the interior of the building. One window has the ancient arms of the City of Sydney and is quite beautiful.
Inside the building are two mechanical clocks, each one featuring dioramas and moving figures from moments in Australian history. The first clock is the Royal Clock. The clock was designed by Neil Glasser and made by Thwaites & Reed of Hastings in England. The clock shows scenes of English royalty from King John signing the Magna Carta to the execution of King Charles I. The second clock is The Great Australian Clock. It was designed and made by Chris Cook. There are 33 scenes from Australian history, seen from both Aboriginal and European perspectives. An Aboriginal hunter circles the exterior of the clock continuously, representing the never-ending passage of time.
There are also two large glass cases inside the building. The first case contains an Imperial Chinese Bridal Carriage made entirely of jade and weighing over two tons, the only example found outside China. The second is a life sized figure of Queen Victoria in historical costume on her coronation day. There are replicas of the British crown jewels(during her reign). The figure of the Queen in her regal attire rotates slowly in the case.
The building Has four floors of shopping. There are cafes, jewelry stores, clothing stores and more. It was amazing to walk through this building. We walked the four floors more than once. There was so much decoration and artwork to be seen before we even bothered to look at the shops.
The Queen Victoria Building is simply too beautful to be a shopping mall. The building which was built in 1898 is beautiful in it's Byzantine architecture. This is a massive structure that takes up an entire city block. It was first used as a replacement to the Sydney Markets, then a concert hall, a library and then retail space. There are over 200 shops inside the QV B.
The building has some incredible stained glass windows and beautiful wood work. There are two clocks in the building: one displays Bristish Queen and Kings of History and the other
has examples of Australian highlights. Ther is also a central exhibit with replicas of the British crown jewels at the time of Queen Victoria's reign as well as a full scale coach.
Even if you aren't in the mood to shop you must come to see this beautiful piece of architecture for yourself.
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.
This outstanding building occupies an entire city block. It was built in 1898 to replace the original Sydney Markets.
Later, it accommodated a concert hall, which eventually became the City Library.
In 1984 it was completely refurbished as a shopping centre, with more than 200 shops.
The renovations were done by the Malaysian company Ipoh Garden Berhad.
The turn of the century charm of this building was successfully retained.
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.
Today, the QVB is a mall ~ filled with fairly upscale shops and boutiques. I don't recommend it for that reason, but for the beautiful exterior architecture. There are over 20 copper domes topping the building. . .a peek inside is worthwhile as well, as the glass-sectioned ceiling lets in light.
The building takes up a full city block and it was originally a produce market. A great deal of money was spent on saving the building in the early 1980s and it re-opened as a shopping centre later in that decade.
Sydney's outdoors are so beautiful ~ be careful not to get sucked into shopping. . .a quick detour through the building is all that is necessary.
While you're admiring the Queen Victoria Building, you'll notice this statue at one end (Southern, I think). The statue originally stood in front of the Irish Parliament, but was removed in 1947. . .it disappeared and was eventually located in a small Irish town in the early 80's.
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!!
A permanent display in the Queen Victoria building is the 'Imperial Bridal Carriage', believed to be the only one of its kind outside of China. This beautiful carriage was created by more than 100 artists on more than 300 ton of raw jade. The finished weight of the carriage is approx two tonnes.
A MUST SEE!
LOCATION....Level 2, North End
THIS MAGNIFICENT BUILDING IS A MUST SEE IN SYDNEY!
Known as QVB, this beautiful building was completed in 1898, replacing the original Sydney markets on the site. It was built during a severe recession as a monument to the long reigning monarch, Queen Victoria.
The elaborate Romanesque architecture was specially planned for the grand building so the Government could employ many out-of-work craftsmen - stonemasons, plasterers, and stained window artists, and excellent idea!
Originally, there was a concert hall, that is now the City Library. You will find all sorts of stores, from coffee shops, florists, hairdressers to offices and showrooms, I even bought some nice, good quality T shirts from here.
The dominant feature is the mighty centre dome, consisting of an inner glass dome and an exterior copper- sheathed dome. Stained glass windows and stunning architecture are seen throughout the building and an original 19th century staircase sits alongside the dome. As recently as 1959 the Queen Victoria Building was threatened with demolition, thankgoodness this never happened. Every detail has been faithfully restored, including arches, pillars, balustrades and the intricate tiled floors.
Please check the website for trading hours. The shops are open every day of the week.
Of importance, is a Time capsule containing a letter written by Queen Elizabeth II in 1986 to the citizens of Sydney, to be opened and read by the lord Mayor of Sydney, 99 years later in 2085, the year the 99 year lease of the building expires!..........wonder what it will say?
The stained glass windows here are beautiful. The one in my photo, faces George Street. It is known as a cartwheelwindow. It shows part of the ancient coat of Arms of Sydney.
Location.. Level One and two where the centre dome area is.
If you happen to be in Sydney around Christmas time, do not miss to have a look at the spectacular Christmas tree in the Queen Victoria Building (QVB). It is Australia's largest indoor tree - and surely one of the world's most expensive Christmas trees. (Do not know what the sheiks do... ;-)
On the VT Forum the question came up how they get this 24 metre high tree into the building, as the tree extends through three floors.
The solution is easy if you know the secret... ;-)
The tree is not a one piece tree you would cut in the forest. It is made up of many single parts.
It is 24 metres high and extends through three floors but only the bottom part of the trunk is a real tree trunk. On top of that they put a conic steel construction. They put about 1700 branches into that steel cone. Every branch is decorated before being attached to the cone.
They attach about 15,000 Swarovski crystals to the tree. Each crystal costs AU$ 100, so the value of the crystals only adds up to AU$1.5 million. The decoration is complete with 40,000 lights, 8,000 baubles and 400 bows.
30 people work on the branches alone for three nights, and in total they - plus eight riggers and two electricians - need nearly two weeks to put everything together. They are guarded by security staff during the installation, as you can imagine. You will find out that you will not reach the crystals by leaning over the banisters of the stairwell...
The tree is on display from 25 October to 6 January.
See more photos of the tree in the travelogue at the bottom of this page.
VT member wallywombat has provided a good link to a page with more information:
What I absolutely do not understand is why they do not post any information about the Christmas tree on the QVB website (www.qvb.com.au).
Just a thought while writing this tip a second time...
What I really love about VT is that if I do not write a tip in a Word .doc and do not save it before uploading a photo, you can be sure the upload process breaks down and everything is lost. It is nearly as magic as Christmas.