Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Old and Beautiful Side of Sydney CBD

Queen Victoria Building, QVB in short, is a nineteenth century victorian building located in Sydney CBD. It has been standing tall and proud since 1898. The main feature of the building is the central dome with glass roof and smaller domes at each corner of the 30 m width by 190m long building. The designer of this magnificent building was a Scottish architect named George McRae who moved to Sydney in 1884.

Exterior of QVB
Entrance of George Street

At the southern plaza of the building facing Druitt Street, there is a statue of Queen Victoria. This statue was originally from Dublin and was given by the Republic of Ireland to the people of Sydney. There is a wishing well nearby featuring a bronze structure of the Queen's favourite dog, Islay. The coins collected from this well are donated to the benefit of blind and deaf children.

The statue of Queen Victoria
Sir Islay

This building is a four-level shopping centre under the central dome. The top three floors have large opening and balconies to look through to the ground floor. From the start, the building has been functioning as a shopping centre, only throughout the years, there were a few round of refurbishment. The latest one was carried out in 2008. Currently, QVB holds an array of branded designer boutiques.

QVB Building from Top Level

The lower level get the natural sunlight through the glass dome

Another feature of this building is the display of two mechanical clock at the ceiling of QVB. These two royal clocks were designed and made by Chris Cook and each of them weighs more than 4 tonnes and stands 10 m tall. The clocks display 33 scenes of Australian history, seen from Aboriginal and European perspective. 

On of the "Royal Clock" of QVB

On the top level near the dome, there is a sealed letter written by Queen Elizabeth II in 1986. It shall be opened by the future mayor of Sydney in 2085 and be read aloud to the people of Sydney. I am still trying to find out where this display is located.

The antique lift

At the basement, there are an array of more affordable shops and eateries. The basement also connects QVB to the nearby buildings in Pitt Street Mall and Townhall Station.

Doughnut Time at the Basement

Drooling Ferrero-No-Share

Walking out from Druit Street entrance, there is another wonderful victorian style building out there. If QVB looks massive and strong, this building looks petite and beautiful. This is Townhall Building, which was built in 1880s at the former cemetery ground of Sydney. The design of this building started as early as 1860s. The process went through many change of hands and the construction was finally completed in 1899. The building was constructed with original Sydney sandstone.

The building was built to hold meeting/exhibition/reception/performance at the large space. There are also council chamber and civic offices inside. In more than one century, there has been almost no change to the usage of this building.

Town Hall Building with the clock since 1883

Fully blooming Jacaranda Trees outside Town Hall Building

Another stunning view showing the yellowish Sydney sandstone

Besides Town Hall Building, there stands a gothic style structure constructed out of brickworks. St. Andrew Cathedral, an Anglican Christian church that has been in operation since 1868. The church holds masses almost everyday.

St. Andrew Cathedral

In the middle of busy and modern CBD, the historical buildings stand timelessly beautiful. I am happy that the government really tries to protect these heritage buildings by means of restoration, refurbishment and optimization of usage. I hope Indonesian government can do the same for our almost forgotten aging historical building.

Jacaranda is still my favourite!

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

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