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Love admiring history while traveling? Add Queen Victoria Building in Sydney as one of the hot spots of your itinerary. One of the most iconic places to visit in Sydney, this nineteenth-century building is a heritage site worthy of your admiration. Visit this building to shop and explore while feeling like a royal.
History of Queen Victoria Building
Queen Victoria Building was first built as a municipal market. Architect Ambrose Hallen was the very first person who built the simple stone halls that became the foundation of this building in the 1830s. The City of Sydney council members started to control the properties in 1842 and later turned them into public markets.
Scottish architect George McRae was responsible for redesigning the building into its current style. He combined elements of Renaissance, Gothic, Romanesque, and Queen Anne designs. He added notable features like multiple domes, glass-stained windows, imported tiles, arches, and colonnades. The name “The Queen Victoria Market Buildings” was created in 1897 to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee.
Queen Victoria Building was opened to the public on 21 July 1898, providing places for hairdressers, merchants, tailors, florists, and other tenants. It also had a concert hall, showrooms, and a grand ballroom when it was opened.
What Makes Queen Victoria Building Famous?
Queen Victoria Building in Sydney combines the shopping experience with architectural wonder and historical tourism. You can shop or walk and enjoy every beautiful detail of the building, which maintains its mixed design aesthetics even after multiple restorations.
The most iconic features of this building are two giant, elaborate clocks called The Great Australian Clock and the Royal Clock. Each clock features decorative panels that represent major historical events in both countries. Stay to witness the Royal Clock playing trumpet music composed by Jeremiah Clarke.
Interesting Facts about Queen Victoria Building
As the name suggests, Queen Victoria Building is where you could see the queen being regaled in such eye-catching ways. One of them is a life-sized, rotating figure of Queen Victoria, wearing a replica of her actual coronation regalia.
Another giant historical exhibition in the building is a heavy jade imperial bride carriage from China. This carriage is beautiful and intricate, yet it weighs over two tons! Besides, protected by a glass dome is a secret letter written by the queen to be read by the Lord Mayor in Sydney in 2058. No one knows what the content is!
Things to Do
Queen Victoria Building has more than 180 tenants, boutiques, and restaurants. Most of them are high-end shops that sell jewelry, dresses, perfume, shoes, and many more. If you are not interested in shopping, there are other things you could do here, such as:
The building has huge numbers of restaurants with elegant interiors. Try authentic Asian dishes at Assam, which specializes in dishes from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, and more. Then, if you want something more laidback, head to Kikko Café for a light breakfast and lunch. For authentic Australian cuisine, go to Esquire.
Want to experience a nice tea party as royal families do? Head to The Tea Room, which used to be the space for royal family members to enjoy tea and a light meal. It also serves light meals, just in case you are puckish.
Join Guided Tour
Every corner of this building is full of historical relics and information. You can book a guided tour in a small group, which will help you appreciate the details of the buildings.
Enjoy Free Events
Queen Victoria Building often becomes a venue for various attractive events. From art galleries to performance art, this is the place to appreciate art without paying.
The building is located in a strategic area, so it is easy to find a hotel or accommodation nearby. The most popular are three- and four-star hotels such as Park Regis City Centre, Novotel, YEHS Hotel, and Castlereagh Boutique Hotel—less than a kilometer from Queen Victoria Building.
Since it is a public shopping center, you don’t need to book before visiting the Queen Victoria Building. Once satisfied, you can visit other popular destinations such as Sydney Tower Eye, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Sydney Darling Harbour.
So, is the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney worth visiting? Yes! Combining a posh shopping center with a beautiful historical building and a strategic location, this heritage site is a great itinerary for a city tour.