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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

7 Wonders of MELBOURNE

If I were to go on a world tour, what would have been my top seven places to visit? Surely, it would have been the Seven Wonders of the World jotted within the top seven lines of my list. Drawing from this analogy, here is my version of what are the seven wonders of the historically and artistically beautiful city we all know as MELBOURNE.


FIRST WONDER OF MELBOURNE: THE MCG (MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND)



Go to the MCG stadium (Melbourne Cricket Ground) to see an AFL (”Aussie Rules”) game or an India-Australia cricket match and it'll be the most fun you've ever had on a stadium irrespective of whether you are a sport buff. There is something for everyone at the MCG. The first ground in the world to hold a Test Match, The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. In summer it is here that you’ll hear the sweet sound of leather on willow. During most of the rest of the year it is AFL that takes over. Footy fans refer to it as the ‘G, abbreviating the acronym to remove “cricket”. It is obligatory to eat a meat pie while watching the footy. Best place for some food and cricket.



SECOND WONDER OF MELBOURNE: THE FEDERATION SQUARE


In 2009, Virtual Tourist awarded Federation Square with the title of the 'World's Fifth Ugliest Building. Criticisms of it ranged from its damage to the heritage vista to its similarity to a bombed-out wartime bunker due to its "army camouflage" colors. For a while after its opening on 26 October 2002, Federation Square remained controversial among Melburnians due to its unpopular architecture, but also because of its successive cost blow outs and construction delays (as its name suggests, it was to have opened in time for the centenary of Australian Federation on 1 January 2001).
However, the negativity was short-lived, with approximately 90% of people surveyed reported liking at least some part of Federation Square. Despite fears that the plaza would remain empty because of its location on the edge of Melbourne's center, the open space has proved to be a remarkably popular place for protests, performances, cultural gatherings, celebrations and just 'hanging out'. Federation Square won five awards in 2003 at the Victorian Architecture Awards, including the Victorian Architecture Medal. The Australian Financial Review later reported that Melburnians have learned to love the building, citing the record number of people using and visiting it.  In 2005, the New York-based Project for Public Spaces named it one of "The World's Best Squares", and it was included on The Atlantic Cities' 2011 list of "10 Great Central Plazas and Squares". It is the only modern square to appear on both lists.


THIRD WONDER OF MELBOURNE: CARLTON GARDENS


The Carlton Gardens is a World Heritage Site located on the northeastern edge of the Central Business District in the suburb of Carlton, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
The 26 hectare (64 acre) site contains the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum and Imax Cinema, tennis courts and an award winning children's playground. The rectangular site is bound by Victoria Street, Rathdowne Street, Carlton Street, and Nicholson Street. From the Exhibition building the gardens gently slope down to the southwest and northeast. According to the World Heritage listing the Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens are "of historical, architectural, aesthetic, social and scientific (botanical) significance to the State of Victoria."

FOURTH WONDER OF MELBOURNE: ROYAL EXHIBITION BUILDING

The Royal Exhibition Building is a World Heritage Site-listed building in Melbourne, Australia, completed in 1880. Today, the building hosts various exhibitions and other events and is closely tied with events at the Melbourne Museum. The Royal Exhibition Building is still in use as a commercial exhibition venue, hosting many events on a regular basis such as the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.



FIFTH WONDER OF MELBOURNE: MELBOURNE MUSEUM


Melbourne Museum is located in the Carlton Gardens in MelbourneAustralia, adjacent the Royal Exhibition Building.
The museum is a rich response to Melbourne’s urban condition, and provides a place for education, history, culture and society to engage with each other in a contemporary setting. It is now an important part of Melbourne’s soft infrastructure.
It is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere, and is a venue of Museum Victoria, which also operates the Immigration Museum and Scienceworks Museum.

SIXTH WONDER OF MELBOURNE: THE SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE

The Shrine of Remembrance was created to meet the needs of a grieving community after the extensive loss of lives in the First World War (1914 –18). 114,000 Victorians enlisted in the First World War. Of the 89,000 of them who served abroad 19,000 were killed. They were buried in distant graves far from home at a time when most Australians did not travel abroad. The Shrine provided a place where Victorians could grieve as individuals, as families or as a community and where they could honour and preserve the memories of those they had lost. The Shrine was not only built to commemorate those who had served in the First World War. It also honoured the courage of the men, women and children who remained at home. Original designs for the Shrine of Remembrance considered the enduring human qualities of Love, Peace, Courage, Integrity, Strength, Faith, Honour and Brotherhood and the value placed on these by the community and those who had fought bravely for their country.
The Shrine of Remembrance
… would unmistakably convey to future generations the desire of the people of Victoria to commemorate the service of its soldiers in the Great War and would be sufficient to form a strong reminder of those services to a generation which will not have the practical experience of the Great War.
Letter from the Returned and Services League of Australia (Victoria Branch) to the Executive Committee for the creation of the Shrine of Remembrance, 9 August 1926
These words express the aims of the Shrine today as much as they did in 1926 and while direct experience and knowledge of the events of the First World War and subsequent conflicts fade, interest in them is growing.
In response the Shrine today places a high priority on education and the interpretation of stories of Victorians at war and in peacekeeping. Through commemoration, education, exhibitions and public programs the Shrine continues to honour Victorian service and sacrifice and to uphold and reinforce the values we associate with the original ANZACs.
SEVENTH WONDER OF MELBOURNE : St. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL

St Paul's Cathedral, across the street from Federation Square, is an imposing old-style Melbourne Anglican cathedral.

Located on the corner of Swanston and Flinders Sts, St Paul's Cathedral was built on the site of Melbourne's first Christian service on the banks of the Yarra River after Melbourne was founded in 1835.

The architecture of St Paul's Cathedral is described as a revival of the style known as Gothic transitional, partly early English Gothic and partly Decorated Gothic. Its foundation stone was laid in 1880 and the cathedral was consecrated in 1891.

Evensong. Make a date with yourself and sit in the magnificence of the building. Look around and sit in silence and hear the conversations, the footsteps and your breathing. Just take time for yourself to walk around and really look at the craftsmenship. Attend a Service, especially Evensong. They have a gift shop, and a lot of history within the walls. St. Pauls is a great hug for the soul.

PS - I visited Melbourne a couple of years ago; and it's your time to visit Melbourne NOW!





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