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Published June 18th 2018
Visit one of the world’s most famous and iconic buildings
Listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sydney Opera House is one of the 20th century most famous and distinctive buildings in the world and is still so to date. This multi-venue performing arts centre is located in the scenic Circular Quay Sydney Harbour and hosts well over 1,500 performances annually with attendance of more than 1.2 million people!
The Opera House and its surrounds occupy the whole of the Bennelong Point on Sydney Harbour, between Sydney Cove and Farm Cove. Adjacent is Sydney's central business district and the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens and it also sits close to the majestic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
This iconic building and attraction has a spectacular backdrop of Sydney Harbour, Royal Botanic Gardens and surrounding Sydney suburbs across the Harbour.
This iconic building was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon and formally opened on 20 October 1973. It features a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete "shells" with each composed of sections of a sphere of 75.2 metres radius, forming the roof of the structure, set on a monumental podium.
There are 1,056,006 tiles in two colours on the shells. The shells appear uniformly white from a distance, however, they are actually chevron pattern of glossy white and matte cream. The tiles were manufactured by Swedish company Hoganas AB which generally produced stoneware tiles for the paper-mill industry.
Apart from the spectacular tiles of the shells, you will see glass curtain walls of the foyer spaces, and the exterior is largely clad with aggregate panels composed of pink granite quarried at Tarana.
As quoted by expert evaluation report to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee 2007 "It stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind." With Sydney Opera House building covering 4.4 acres (1.8 hectares) of land and being 183 metres long and 120 metres wide at its widest point and being supported on impressive 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 metres below sea level, it is easy to understand why this was quoted as a masterpiece of human creativity!
Sydney's spectacular two icons: Harbour Bridge and Opera House
Sydney Opera House was listed on the Register of the National Estate in 1980, the National Trust of Australia registrar since 1983, the City of Sydney Heritage Inventory since 2000, since 2005 part of the Australian National Heritage List and since 2007, it become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Premier Joseph Cahill quoted in 1954 that the building was built to "help mould a better and more enlightened community", and since then Sydney Opera House has been home to an array of the world's greatest artists and performances, and a meeting place for matters of local and international significance since its opening in 1973.
Sydney Opera House during the Vivid Festival- Image Courtesy from Sydney Opera House Facebook
Today it is a number one tourist destination in Australia and welcomes more than 8.2 million visitors each year. It is also home to the Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen, Bennelong restaurant and every day at sunset and 7pm the sails illuminate with Aboriginal artist's exquisite works in the Badu Gili Exhibition.
There are behind-the-scenes tours that take a look at the UNESCO World Heritage Listed building.