Melbourne Architecture

Each city in Australia has a very distinct personality. Someone once told me that, in Sydney, they want to know where you work, in Melbourne, they want to know where you went to school—and in Brisbane, they want to know if you’d like a beer. This humorous comment is a gross oversimplification (especially since anywhere in Australia, you’ll find folks with a fondness for the local brew), but it does reflect something of the atmosphere of these three cities: bustling, Old World, and laid back tropical.

In my May 25, 2009, post on Melbourne, I spoke of the city’s European feel—it’s the most European city in Oz— and elegant architecture. It is not just European in its appearance, but also in its mindset. People refer to the “Paris end” of Collins Street, where you find most of the cafés and boutiques. Replicas of clocks and statues from England adorn shopping arcades. And no raging British soccer crowd can top the folks in Melbourne for going wild at sporting events. (Though in Melbourne, you’d be watching Aussie Rules Football.)

As noted in that earlier post, the wealth of the gold rush led to a lot of fabulous buildings being constructed at a time when most of the folks in town had just arrived from Europe. I thought I’d share with you a couple of those buildings, just to show how impressive some of the older architecture is. Below are the Royal Exhibition Building, on the left, and the ANZ Bank Headquarters. (There are lots more wonderful old buildings, but a row of photos of buildings would be tedious.) And by the way, in Australia, the Z in ANZ is pronounced “zed”; the acronym stands for Australia-New Zealand.

Royal Exhibition Building

Royal Exhibition Building

ANZ Bank

ANZ Bank



Filed under Australia, Book, Geography, History, Travel

11 responses to “Melbourne Architecture

  1. Gosh, I miss Melbourne so much now after reading this entry! It truly does have a European feel, but I love how it still is so Aussie as well. My fave part of Melbourne is walking up and down Chapel St. 🙂

  2. whisperinggums

    LOL Waltzing Australia. Given my love of wine (admittedly not beer) it’s not hard to tell that I originated in Queensland! However, we have lost our son to Melbourne this year – he loves it, though his old government school tie probably won’t fly very high there! Thanks for your post…

    • Actually, I prefer wine, as well—or give me a Strongbow. (I first got hooked on cider while traveling in Australia. Fortunately, I can now get Strongbow in the US—and can get a fair bit of good Aussie wine, too.) As for losing your son to Melbourne, on the positive side, there are some lovely things to do when you visit him!

  3. whisperinggums

    Strongbow isn’t bad either I agree. Yes, one of the good things about his going there is that I hope to visit it more frequently. Until this year I’d probably been there about 8 times but all of these except one were for work. Time to play now I reckon!

  4. KoolKat

    Well, I’m about 6 years late, but on the subject of drinks, the best cider to be found is The Hills Cider Company or 5 Seeds, both Australian brands. It knocks Strongbow etc out of the park!

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