To many Sydneysiders or at least myself, it is not a usual thing to find places of interests in a university but I was proven wrong after my first visit to the University of Sydney, Camperdown campus a couple of weeks ago. It was an amazing discovery for me as I never knew there were so many hidden treasures within the campus ground.
The University of Sydney Quadrangle is formed by a group of buildings which is the symbolic and functional heart of the university. The buildings were built in different stages from 1854 until 1960s. Among the places of interests in the quadrangle are the clock tower, carillon, cloisters, jacarandah tree, MacLaurin Hall, and the Vice-Chancellor's courtyard to name a few. What I love about the quadrangle is the four well-kept lawns which is perfect for picnic on Sunday while listening to carillon recital. It's very peaceful and quiet on Sunday.
Located at the most northeastern point of the Quadrangle, the great hall was completed in 1859. This Victorian Gothic architecture building has become an iconic symbol of the university. Internally, the hall is designed with intricate stained glass window, marble floor, statues and carvings are much admired. The exterior of the hall is crenellated with a corner turret. Today, it is used for many events such as conferring of degrees, conferences, recitals as well as a place to welcome new students yearly. It is open for the public during free organ recitals but unfortunately, I'm not sure if it is open to the public on weekdays.
Admission: Free (organ recitals), tickets for other events
Address: Quadrangle Building, Off Science Road, Darlington NSW 2008, Australia
3. Organ The first pipe organ was installed in the Great Hall in 1881-1882. Built by Forster and Andrews of Hull, the organ served the university for ninety years before it was replaced by the present von Beckerath organ in 1971-1972. At present, the organ is used for many events especially graduation ceremony, recitals and accompaniment of choral and orchestral concerts. The university presents free organ recitals on Sundays at 3.30pm in the Great Hall.
Located in the clock tower of the Quadrangle is the War Memorial Carillon which houses one of two carillons in the whole of Australia. Free carillon recitals are presented every Sunday afternoon at 2pm and Tuesdays at 1pm by the university carillonists followed by a tour to the tower (Sundays / by appointment on Tuesdays). For full review, read more.
Just a hundred meters away from the Main Quadrangle building is the Top 10 Free Museums in Sydney - Nicholson Museum, which has the largest collection of artefacts from Greece, Italy, Egypt, Cyprus etc in Australia. It is the country's oldest university museum. The current exhibitions include:
The Colosseum (Highly recommended) - until June 2013 Aphrodite's Island | Australian Archeologists in Cyprus - until December 2013 The Etruscans: A Classical Fantasy - Until December 2013
50 objects 50 stories - until May 2014
Egyptians, gods, and mummies:Travels with Herodotus - Ongoing
6. Macleay Museum
This museum started in the early eighteenth century by Alexander Macleay holds the oldest natural history collection in Australia. It also has a collection of scientific instruments and apparatus collection, historic photographs and ethnography
The University of Sydney Art Gallery has more than 2600 artworks by Australian, Asian and European artists. It also showcases different exhibition from time to time. Founded in 1860s, it is the depth and diversity of the art collection which makes the gallery unique. I was amazed by the Chinese art, Japanese woodcuts and European paintings that were on display.
Note: University of Sydney is worth a visit and most of the places of interests are free of charge. Kids will benefit from the visits to the museums and adults might enjoy a lovely afternoon sitting at the lawn reading books or picnic. I will definitely go back again.
Tips: Best to visit the uni on Tuesdays to make the most of it as the museums are open (closed on weekends) and there will be carillon recital.
I did a tour of The University of Sydney with my Probus Club a few years ago. The Nicholson Wing was most impressive as was the Great Hall. This year my eldest grandson started his tertiary studies at the University.
Great article, Pauline! Will definitely check out University of Sydney. Didn't realize there is a carillon here too. Last one I saw was in Vancouver. Thanks, love this! Love all your articles, by the way.