Of shopping centers and chocolate

Anne here. A few weeks ago I visited Sydney, and spent a few hours wandering through the Queen Victoria Building (known to Sydneysiders as the QVB.) QVBLookingDown

Situated in the heart of Sydney, it's a large ornate Victorian-era building, filled with upmarket shops and cafes and boutique stores of various kinds — and was one of the earliest "trading halls" of its kind, certainly in Australia.

Building commenced in 1893 as a government project, and, as there was a depression at the time, there was a deliberate choice to make the building grand and ornate — partly to express confidence in the future, and partly to employ large numbers of unemployed craftsmen and workers — stonemasons, plasterers, tilers, stained glass artists, metal workers and many more.

SunnyExteriorYou can see from my photos how elaborate and heavily decorated it is, in the best Victorian-era fashion, with decorative tilework, intricate stone carving, elaborate plaster work, great copper domes, stained glass windows and fanciful wrought iron. It took four and a half years to construct and was opened with great ceremony in 1898 and was named The Queen Victoria Market Buildings in commemoration of her Diamond Jubilee. See the invitation to the opening and grand ball below.

Read more