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CanberraAustralian Capital Territory

 View over political centre
The Australian Capital Territory was created by the Australian Constitution in 1901 to be a government base between the big cities of Melbourne and Sydney. The territory is surrounded form all sides by New South Wales and very close to the Snowy Mountains.

American architect Walter Burley Griffin won an international competition to design a new city, the nation's capital, in 1911 was bought land and in 1913 chosen name "Canberra", believed to be an Aboriginal word for "meeting place". The government moved to capital in 1927.

Canberra, which has a population of 310.000, is situated 300km from Sydney, 655km from Melbourne and 1200km from Adelaide. The city is also known as the Bush Capital, because of many national parks and wild nature that is in the territory. The best view of Canberra is from the Telstra Telecommunications Tower situated on top of Black Mountain. It is the only Australian city where is possible to spot kangaroos on the street, if you are lucky.

The city is completely planned. It lies around artificial Lake Burley Griffin. On the north side is the city centre, banks, bus terminals, pedestrian malls and shopping areas. On the south side is Commonwealth Ave, which runs to Capital Circle. This road surrounds the new Parliament House on Capital Hill.

Another places of interest are the Captain Cook Memorial Water Jet, which push a 6 tonne column of water 147m into the air, the Old Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial.

Parliament HouseAustralian Capital Territory, Canberra

 New Parliament House
Australia's Parliament House is situated south of the Lake Burley Griffin on the top of Capital Hill. This modern building was opened in 1988 and cost $1.1 billion. It replaced the old parliament house on King George Terrace. The new building was designed by Romaldo Giurgola, who came with an idea build whole complex under the terrain and the roof grassed over to preserve the original shape of the hill. The main axis runs in a direct line from Old Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial. On both sides of this axis stand high walls. On the east side is the House of Representatives and on the west is the Senate. Parliament House is surrounded by 23 hectares of landscape designed to blend in with the architecture of the building. There are many native trees and shrubs on the perimeter of the area.

If you move through the building you experience a journey symbolic of Australia's history. The Forecourt, with mosaic dot painting, recognizes the history of Aboriginal culture. The marble and timber in the Foyer provides a link to the arrival of Europeans to Australia. In the Great Hall the timbers, the Great Hall Tapestry and the Embroidery refers to the settlement and cultivation of the land and the Main Committee Room stands for the future of the nation. The building is recognized as a major international achievement in the integration of art and architecture. Interesting artworks

The Forecourt Mosaic is based on a Central Desert dot-style painting by Michael Nelson Tjakamarra, an Aboriginal artist from the Papunya community of the Northern Territory. The mosaic is made up of 90.000 granite pieces in seven different colors and represents a Possum and Wallaby Dreaming.

The Great Hall Tapestry is based on a painting by Arthur Boyd. It features a eucalyptus forest in the Shoalhaven area of New South Wales. Measuring 20 x 9 metres, it is one of the largest tapestries in the world.

The Embroidery is a Bicentennial gift to the nation from Embroiderers' Guilds of Australia. Adelaide artist Kay Lawrence designed the work, which is made from cotton, linen and wool, with some synthetic fibre.

design, programming: Tomas Kucera (2002)
e-mail: sopta (at) post.cz, icq: 33297193
last change: 2005/01/29