When my husband and I arrived in Sydney, Australia, last Saturday we were thrilled that his company had arranged for a very comfortable suite for us at the Grand Quay Suites located at 61 Macquarie Street, East Circular Quay, Sydney, NSW. Our room faced a portion of the Royal Botanical Garden and we could see the Sydney Opera House at the end of the peninsula that the hotel was located on. You can see it over my left shoulder in the lower right photo in the collage above. ( All photos and collages will enlarge if clicked on once and then again when it re-opens)
The weather in Sydney was warm and slightly humid, as we arrived during the last few days of the Southern Hemisphere's summer season. Unlike the state of Queensland in Australia, Sydney, which is located in the state of New South Wales in Australia, did not suffer any severe flooding during the summer storms. The city is a mix of historical older buildings mixed with ultra modern skyscrapers. It is a beautiful, friendly and cosmopolitan city comprised of over four million people.
A view of the Circular Quay West and the iconic Harbor Bridge and the very active ferry buildings.
A view of the Circular Quay East and Multiple hotels and the Sydney Opera House.
Since my husband and I were so close to the beautiful opera house we walked down the East Circular Quay Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbor, to see more of the magnificent buildings. As one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world, hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people, the Sydney Opera House provides a venue for many performing arts companies including the four key resident companies Opera Australia,The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It also houses a restaurant called Bennelong Restaurant. It is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, with more than seven million people visiting the site each year!
The Sydney Opera House officially opened in October 1973, and was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, who received the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honor, in 2003. In 1956 Utzon won an international competition for the design of an opera house for Sydney which attracted more than 200 entries from around the world. In 1966, Utzon was forced to resign as chief architect over constant pressure by the government about cost overruns and the length of construction. He left Australia and never returned to see the building's completion. According to the Sydney Opera House web site: "Utzon’s son Jan took his place in the Colonnade opening ceremony, saying his father "is too old by now to take the long flight to Australia. But he lives and breathes the Opera House, and as its creator he just has to close his eyes to see it."
Views of the Sydney Opera House from a ferry in Sydney Harbor.
A short video of the ferry passing the opera house
One million Swedish ceramic tiles form the seamed pattern covering the distinctive projections that appear like sails of a ship upon the harbor. The titles reflect light, making the opera house glow and change color with the time of day and the weather, and the projected lights at night. As you can imagine, I was quite enthralled by the opera house and took many photos of it. I would have liked to have attended an opera, but unfortunately the opera season did not begin until after we departed, in the middle of March.
The structures were formally recognized as one of the "most outstanding places on Earth" with its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List on June 28 2007.
There are tours available to view the inside of the buildings, but unfortunately no photography is allowed inside the buildings. You can view some photos of the interior on the official website.
The Sydney Opera House illuminated at night.
The Sydney Opera House was truly one of the most magnificent structures we saw during our visit to Sydney, Australia, and I was thrilled to have visited it.
The next day my husband had to report to work and I had a day of sightseeing on the "Hop On, Hop Off, Tour Bus." Come along on the next post and take a ride with me!
I'm linking with the "Outdoor Wednesday" event at Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer.