I wonder who first said 'busier then Flinders Street Station' It's a well-known saying I often use and have heard. The Flinders Street Station clock is also a well-known meeting place. The front corner features a stunning, intricate mosaic and it's just up the road from the Art centre and Hamer Hall.
You can spend the whole day involved in various activities and you need only venture a few hundred metres in any direction from the station. So if you're looking for a historic or iconic corner, this has to be it … and I'll tell you why.
As you emerge from the Flinders Street Station you are faced with Federation Square. This is my number one favorite place in Melbourne. I take offence to the unfair rating of Federation Square being ugly. I think it's awesomeness and ingenious, indeed it's a steely architect triumph, which is unlikely to ever be matched.
So strong and masculine
I have eliminated the possibility of having Objectum Sexual Disorder but I admit I often think that Federation Square would make a perfect life partner. It's so strong, good looking and bold. As a bonus there's no chance of unfaithfulness, unscrupulous manipulation, no likelihood of unaccounted for visa expenses or underpaid debts.
The beautiful Federation Square supports thousands of events a year. This includes mostly free events such as cultural festivals, exhibitions, event launches, performances, forums, films, concerts and fashion. There's always something on at Fed Square.
Fed Square (as it is affectionately known) is a miniature city in itself. It hosts major cultural and world-class events, has an array of restaurants, bars and specialty stores. It also houses and The Edge Theatre, Kirra galleries and The Ian Potter Centre (NGV),
Fed Square also features ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Images), the old State Film Centre). ACMI has free public pods, exhibitions, creative workshops, talks and live events. They show new, old, mainstream and alternative films for people of all ages.
ACMI exhibition item
The adjoining outdoor area features two outdoor television screens; there is an appealing children's playground, Arts Play, and Birrarung Marr. Large impressive sculptures line the Yarra river.
Birrarung Wilam celebrates the diversity of Victoria's indigenous culture through public artworks. A winding pathway signifies the eel as a traditional food source and a semicircle of metal shields represents the five groups of the Kulin Nation. The William Barak pedestrian bridge leads directly to the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground).
As if that's not enough…
Diagonally across the road is the Australia's most famous pub - Young and Jackson (named after some Irish diggers). This was originally the home of John Batman in 1837. It now boasts the infamous nude Chloé painting painted by French artist Jules Joseph Lefebvre on a life size canvas in 1875. The subject of the painting was a nineteen year old girl who committed suicide with a homemade poisonous brew. Her life is immortalised in this famous painting.
Still creating a stir
Chloé was originally purchased for 850 guineas. It caused uproar when hung in the National Gallery of Victoria and was withdrawn three weeks later. It was bought for the Young and Jackson Hotel in 1908 for 800 pounds and has been much admired over the years.
On the opposite side of the road, the grand St. Paul's Cathedral, a working church stands proudly. Volunteers cheerfully greet guests on their arrival. The church is unique, made of sandstone and limestone and striking bluestone pillars. The use of the bluestone for the internal pillars is very striking.
Beautiful inside and out
The four corners of Flinders Street and Swanson Street, each is remarkably unique and famous for their own special qualities. This intersection has something to offer everyone, rain, hail or shine.