Showing posts tagged with: History

St Mary’s Cathedral

by Edgardo Gubelin on August 30, 2016

St Mary’s Cathedral is the spiritual home of Sydney’s Catholic community. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Sydney, and stands on the site of the first Catholic Chapel in Australia.

The first stone for St Mary s Cathedral was laid 1821. It was a simple Gothic style cruciform stone structure. In 1865, the church caught fire and was destroyed. In 1868 the foundation stone for the present Cathedral was laid. It became an on going project and was eventually completed in 1961.  The two spires were eventually completed in 2000.

The glory of St Mary’s Cathedral is the remarkable interior. The stained-glass windows in the Cathedral were crafted in England. The brightly coloured floor of the Cathedral crypt is an outstanding example of terrazzo mosaic. The roof is made of red cedar. St Mary’s is a building which has a song to sing and a story to tell – And the song of the Cathedral is the sound of its bells.

You’ll be at a loss for words, it’s well worth a visit.

Read more

The Rocks – Sydney’s outdoor Museum

by Edgardo Gubelin on August 29, 2016

The Rocks was established shortly after the Colony’s formation in 1788.  Most of the buildings at this time were built of local sandstone, from which the area derives its name.

The Rocks was a slum area from earliest times as it was often frequented by prostitutes and sailors. In 1900, the bubonic plague broke out and many of the buildings were demolished. During the 1920’s more were demolished to make way for the bridge.

In 1968 the the government planned to demolish the remaining buildings to make way for high density dwellings. This was overturned in 1975 and the Rocks were transformed into a vibrant pocket of cafes, restaurants and interesting tourist shops and stalls.

Read more

Views to die for!

by Edgardo Gubelin on June 15, 2016

Fort Denison is a small island located about one kilometer east of the Opera House and just off Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.

After the First Fleet arrived in 1788, Governor Philip and his advocate-general used the name Rock Island. In 1788, a convict named Thomas Hill, was sentenced to a week on bread and water in irons there, after a time the island came to be known as “Pinchgut.”  It was once a 15 meter high sandstone islet, the rock was later leveled by convicts for sandstone, to construct nearby Circular Quay.

In late 1796 the Governor had installed a gibbet (which is a gallows-type structure) on “Pinchgut” from which the dead or dying bodies of executed criminals were hanged on public display, to deter other existing or potential criminals.

A convict to be hanged there, was Francis Morgan. The British Government transported him to New South Wales for life, as punishment for the murder of Simon Raven. On the 30th November 1796, Morgan was hanged for the brutal murder of Simon Raven. Following his execution his body was hung in chains (gibbeting) on “Pinchgut”. His skeleton was still hanging there four years, after his execution.

He said to the hangman that the only thing worth mentioning was “the superb view of the harbour from his high elevation”, and that he was sure there were no waters the world over, to compare with Sydney Harbour’s  beauty!

Read more

The Queen Victoria Building

by Edgardo Gubelin on May 30, 2016

The Queen Victoria Building (QVB) is Sydney’s most beautiful building. The Romanesque revival building was built on the original municipal markets site. Completed 1898, it was designed as a market place.

The QVB consists of 4 main shopping floors. The elegant interior of the Queen Victoria Building features, beautiful stained glass windows and remarkable shops, two mechanical clocks each featuring dioramas and moving figures from moments in history.

The Royal Clock activates on the hour and displays 6 scenes of English Royalty. The Great Australian Clock includes 33 scenes from Australian history seen from both Aboriginal and European perspectives. An Aboriginal hunter circles the clock continuously representing the never ending passage of time.

The Queen Victoria Building is a must to see!

Read more