15 Architectural ‘Wonders’ of Sydney
Sydney has some of the world’s most admired and acclaimed architecture. The Sydney Opera House is widely acknowledged as one of the seven modern wonders of the world.
But Sydney isn’t just renowned for its contemporary architecture. There are a surprising number of visually striking buildings around Sydney that have been inspired or influenced by some of the world’s classic architectural styles. OK, they might not all be brilliantly constructed architectual masterpeices…but they are pretty impressive.
So check out this list of 15 of some of the architectural ‘wonders’ of the world I’ve found, right here in Sydney.
Former Nineveh Club, Edensor Park
This replica ancient Assyrian royal palace in Edensor Park is certainly a head turner. It was once the home of the Nineveh Assyrian Club but is now an Assyrian college. Built in faux mud brick, it wouldn’t be out of place on the banks of the Tigres River somewhere in northern Iraq circa 800 BC. Standing guard at the entrance are two winged bull statues consisting of the body of a lion, the head of an Assyrian king and the wings of an eagle.
Address: 673 Smithfield Road, Edensor Park.
Vat Khemarangsaram Cambodian Buddhist Temple, Bonnyrigg
Completed in 1998, the Cambodian Khemarangsaram temple is typical of traditional Khmer Buddhist architecture. Set high on a hill, it is hard to miss its glittering ornate gilded roof and impressive column telamons. It is an incongruous sight surrounded by the Bonnyrigg shopping centre car park and a Bunnings store.
Address: 68 Tarlington Parade, Bonnyrigg.
Gallipoli Mosque, Auburn
The Ottoman-style Gallipoli Mosque takes me back to my tour of Turkey where this design is common place throughout the country and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul probably its finest example. Ottoman mosques are distinguished by their large central dome and supporting tall thin minarets. The Gallipoli mosque was finally completed in 1999 and took a painstaking 23 years to complete due to a lack of funds.
Address:15-19 Gelibolu Parade, Auburn.
NSW Conservatorium of Music, Sydney
Reminiscent of a medieval English castle, the Conservatorium of Music’s main building was originally built as the stables for Sydney’s Government House. Designed by former convict architect Francis Greenway in 1815, the ‘defensive walls’ and turrets of the stables are surely one of the most impressive examples of early colonial architecture in Sydney.
Address: Cnr Bridge & Macquarie Streets, Sydney.
NSW Art Gallery, Sydney
It’s easy to take the familiar sight of the imposing Classical Greek temple façade of the NSW Art Gallery for granted. It does however remain one of the most impressive and striking classical pieces of architecture in Sydney. Designed by government architect Walter Vernon and opened in 1897, the Art gallery trustees demanded a classical temple to art and Vernon duly delivered a suitable façade with its neo classical portico and six Ionic columns.
Address: The Domain, Sydney.
Wat Phrayortkeo Dhammayanaram Lao Buddhist Temple, Edensor Park
This beautiful traditional Lao temple was completed and consecrated in 1993. Its design is based on the Golden City temple in Laos, one of the countries most significant and important Buddhist structures. The curved roof and staircases are decorated with golden dragons that protect it from evil. The temple houses a large three metre high golden Buddha weighing some 800 kilograms.
Address:711-715 Smithfield Road Edensor Park.
Russian Old Orthodox Church of the Holy Annunciation – Assumption, Lidcombe
This dazzling and highly ornamented Russian Orthodox Church shines like a beacon on drab Vaughan Street Lidcombe. With its glittering golden domes, this is very much an authentic looking replica of a traditional Russian church.
Address: 61 Vaughan Street Lidcombe.
German Austrian Club , Cabramatta
The bizarre sight of a large Bavarian farm house next to the railway line in suburban Cabramatta still mesmerizes me every time my train passes by. Traditional Bavarian architecture is very distinctive, but here in Cabramatta, stunningly unique. The clubhouse is authentically constructed with two storeys made of wood and decorated with brightly coloured geraniums.
Address: 75 Curtin Street Cabramatta.
The Mingyue Lay Buddhist Temple, Bonnyrigg
This grand Buddhist temple complex is a classical 12th century Chinese design and a fine example of Buddhist Mahayana tradition. Set in beautifully maintained grounds, the main shrine houses some 37 bronzed Buddha’s from Thailand and celebrates Buddhism, Taoism and Zen.
Address: 654 Cabramatta Road, Bonnyrigg.
The Grand Bazaar Trash and Treasure Markets, Horningsea Park
Looking like it’s part royal Indian palace, part mosque, the intriguing looking administration building at the entrance of the Grand Bazaar Trash and Treasure Markets is a peculiar sight set amongst the new housing estate at Horningsea Park. Inside the markets is a food court housed in a similar smaller scale building.
Address: 1895 Camden Valley Way, Horningsea Park.
Holland House, Smithfield
Hidden away in the backstreets of a Smithfield industrial estate opposite a field of Asian market gardeners is the unlikely sight of a large gabled Dutch house. Looking like it should be part of a Dutch theme park; this is the home of Holland House , an oasis of all things Dutch. Unfortunately it’s all a façade rather than a great piece of architecture, but hey, it’s a striking, character oozing sight none the less.
Address: 85 Market Street Smithfield.
Collingwood Hotel, Liverpool
The English Tudor style half timbered Collingwood Hotel has been serving beer to weary travellers on the Hume Highway just out of Liverpool since 1888. It has though, not always been of Tudor design. The original Collingwood looked more like a typical inner Sydney Victorian two storey townhouse. The mock Tudor façade was not added until the 1930s.
Address**: 321 Hume Highway, Liverpool.
Murugan Hindu Temple , May’s Hill
This eye-catching temple on the Great Western Highway is worthy of more than a side-ways glance from your car. Complete in 1997, this magnificent Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga, a popular deity amongst Tamils. Richly decorated with a multitude of idols, this temple is one of the most treasured Hindu temples in Australia.
Address**: 217 Great Western Highway, Mays Hill.
Phuoc Hue Budhist Monastery Pagoda, Wetherill Park
The sight of a seven-storey Buddhist pagoda while driving along Victoria Street in Wetherill Park is quite unexpected. Standing atop a hill on the grounds of the [LINK=http://www.phuochue.org/
]Phuoc Hue Buddhist Monastery [/LINK], the Pagoda is based on a famous pagoda in Vietnam, the seven storeys symbolizing the nature of Buddhism. A three metre high Maitreya Buddha sits smiling at its base.
Address: 365 Victoria Street, Wetherill Park.
Botanical Gardens Pyramid, Sydney
How a Pyramid became the chosen shape of the [LINK=http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/
]Sydney Botanical Gardens[/LINK] tropical centre escapes me but the impressive large glass Egyptian pharaonic like edifice is certainly an arresting sight in the middle of Sydney.
Address: Botanical Gardens Sydney (at the rear of NSW Conservatorium of Music)