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Historical

Top Rated Attractions in Sydney

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St Mary's Cathedral

A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the foundation stones for St Mary's Cathedral were laid by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1821. After a series of architects and religious figures suggested their own versions of the cathedral, the building finally opened in 1900, although work continued until 1928. Wardell's original design had two spires that were never built. After ten years' debate and political fund-raising, the twin spires were finally completed in 2000. Today, St. Mary's Cathedral is heralded as one of the most beautiful buildings in Sydney. Visitors to the cathedral can wander around the beautiful interior, which is lit by ornate stained glass windows. Treasures located in the cathedral include the moving and beautifully sculpted Grave of the Unknown Soldier, a marble replica of Michelangelo's Pieta and many gorgeous religious paintings from the late 19th-Century.

Hyde Park

Aside from the beautifully kept gardens, Hyde Park provides a tranquil haven to the thousands of daily urban commuters amidst the hustle and bustle of Sydney's city life. It is not only a sanctuary but also a fitting home to the famous 1934 Art Deco Anzac Memorial, and the Archibald Fountain; a magnificent bronze and granite fountain commemorating the French and Australian alliance in World War I. The park looks particularly attractive at night when thousands of tiny fairy lights twinkle amidst the boughs of the ancient trees which line the walkways.

The Rocks

Located near the Circular Quay, The Rocks is a beautiful neighborhood in Sydney. This area dates back to the 18th Century and houses some historic structures and the Museum of Contemporary Art. You can enjoy historic walking tours or just stroll through the charming market on weekends. The weekend market offers some locally-produced vegetables, accessories, garments and more and is thronged by tourists and locals alike. Besides, this place offers quaint views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, affording several photo opportunities. All in all, this is a must-visit spot if you want to experience the local lifestyle of Sydney.

Queen Victoria Building

Built-in 1898 to celebrate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) is a history lesson and shopping experience rolled in one. Designed to resemble a Byzantine palace, the architectural beauty is enough to awe the visitors. Some of the highlights include the central copper dome housed in the building’s glass roof, the ornate floor tiles, and the cast-iron circular staircase that winds its way to the upper levels of the building. For visitors more interested in shopping, the building houses over 200 stores, including designer boutique, art galleries, antique shops, and cafes.

The Great Synagogue

Designed by Thomas Rowe, this building, the headquarters of the Jewish faith, was consecrated in 1878. The Great Synagogue features columns, ornate wrought-iron gates, a paneled ceiling covered with gold leaf stars, and other elaborate decorations inspired by synagogues built in London and Liverpool. There is also a museum that runs two or three exhibitions a year on different aspects of Jewish life and heritage.

Saint James Church

Located opposite Hyde Park Barracks Museum, St James' Church was originally designed in 1819 as a courthouse. Architect Francis Greenway was forced to convert it to a church to hold services for convicts from the Barracks. Samuel Marsden, the infamous flogging parson, was Senior Chaplin here. The Church has had many restorations, both interior and exterior, and additions such as the Children's Chapel. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in central Sydney.

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