Australia’s most iconic building is the Sydney Opera House which nestles on the shores of Sydney Harbour at Bennelong Point. This multi-venue performing arts center was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and completed in 1973, before being added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
It stands as one of the 20th century’s most famous buildings and having a photo taken in front of its famous sails is high on most visitor’s lists. During special events it’s usually illuminated in bright lights to reflect a particular theme, making it just as captivating by night as during the day.
The Sydney Opera House is home to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Theatre Company, The Australian Ballet and Opera Australia, with shows scheduled throughout the year for visitors to experience its interior. Alternatively, you can join one of the daily guided tours to get a behind-the-scenes look at this famous venue and learn about its fascinating history.
A competition was held for the design of the Sydney Opera House, attracting 233 entries from architects in 32 different countries. The winning design was based on a massive red granite platform, with soaring white-roofed shells shaped like sails that were to be covered in Swedish-made tiles.
It took 16 years to complete the Sydney Opera House and while there were complex engineering problems and skyrocketing costs, it was received with public acclaim once finished. It is considered a masterpiece of modern architecture and highlights the creative genius of Jørn Utzon, together with the capabilities of the Danish engineering firm Ove Arup and Partners and the Australian contractors HR Hornibrook.
The Sydney Opera House is today one of the most popular attractions in Sydney and Australia, with around 8 million visiting each year and 350,000 joining a guided tour. Whether you witness this remarkable landmark from a ferry on the water or approaching it on foot, it remains a dramatic and unforgettable sight.