Where Jean Went For Free: Melbourne’s Parliament House

Step inside the Parliament of Victoria and explore its imposing fa├žade and intricately designed chambers. If you’re using public transportation, just go down the Parliament station if you’re going by train or stop at Spring Street if you’re riding the tram. If you feel overloaded with info, you can also take a short walk to the Treasury Gardens after the tour ­čśë

History of Melbourne’s Parliament House

Melbourne’s Parliament House is more than just an attraction. It has an age-old history, dating all the way back to 1855. Architect Peter Kerr won a competition and set out to design the iconic building. Construction began in 1856 and finished four years later. It was built in a neoclassical style, inspired by ancient Greek and Roman designs. Since then, it’s been the site of significant events and debates that have affected Victoria. It was the meeting place for Victoria’s first parliament until 1901, when Australia became a federation.

Overview of the Parliament House tour

The tour offers a captivating exploration of the city’s political history and government processes. Throughout the tour, the guide shared fascinating insights into the history of Parliament House, its significance, and the processes that take place within its walls. You’ll learn about the debates, negotiations, and decision-making that shape the nation’s future. My favourite part of the tour was seeing intricate details and historical artifacts adorned the walls.

Exploring The Interior

When exploring the interior of the Parliament House, we are immediately greeted by the stunning interior and intricate details that adorn the walls and ceilings. The tour takes you through various rooms, each with its own unique significance. 

Main Entrance and Foyer

The tour starts and welcomes visitors at its main entrance and foyer. Upon entering, I was astonished by the high ceilings. They are so grand that they make you forget you’re about to enter a building filled with politicians. ­čśŤ

Legislative Assembly

 This iconic structure is of immense importance due to its symbolic significance and unique design. It has a capacity of 129 seats arranged in a circular fashion. Public galleries are located above the member seats, allowing citizens to witness parliamentary proceedings firsthand.

The chamber design draws inspiration from ancient Roman amphitheatres, emphasizing equality and collaboration between representatives. This creates an atmosphere of open dialogue and encourages democratic governance for the benefit of all citizens.

Queen’s Hall

The Queen’s Hall is a significant historic space inside this building. It serves as a hub for important parliamentary gatherings and events, accommodating dignitaries and members of parliament. ┬áComfortable chairs surround it, providing a suitable environment for members to engage in meaningful deliberations.

Other Significant Rooms

The Parliamentary Library also holds a vast collection of books and documents that provide insights into Australia’s political history. Last but not least, be sure to keep your camera handy to capture the grandeur of Parliament House. The architecture, artwork, and majestic interiors present countless photo opportunities. Don’t forget to snap a picture of yourself in the chambers, experiencing the power and history that resonates within those walls.

Highlights

The guided tour offers a range of captivating highlights that will leave visitors in awe. From exploring the grand architecture to experiencing the rich history, this tour is an unforgettable journey into the heart of Australian democracy.

Highlights of the tour:

  1. Historical Significance: Built in the mid-19th century, it has witnessed significant moments in Australian politics and serves as a symbol of democratic governance.
  2. Magnificent Architecture: From the grand entrance to the intricate detailing, every corner exudes elegance and grandeur.
  3. Legislative Chambers: Gain access to the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council chambers, where important decisions are made. These chambers provide a glimpse into the democratic process and allow visitors to appreciate the significance of these spaces.
  4. Historic Library: Explore the historical library, home to an extensive collection of books, documents, and artifacts. 
  5. Art and Decor:  From portraits of influential figures to intricate tapestries, each piece adds to the ambience and tells a unique story.
  6. Iconic Statues: These statues serve as a reminder of the rich heritage and the people who have made significant contributions to Australia. One example is the statue of Queen Victoria at the Queen’s Hall.

In summary, the Parliament House tour in Melbourne provides an immersive experience. Visitors can delve into the nation’s democratic history, appreciate the magnificent architecture, and explore the various highlights that make it a must-visit destination.┬á

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: How can I book a tour?

Answer: They do not take bookings for the free public tour. The Parliament House is open every weekday (Monday-Friday) when parliament is not sitting. Remember to arrive at least 30 minutes before the tour!

FAQ: How long does the tour last?

Answer: The tour typically lasts for approximately one hour. However, during busy periods, the duration may be slightly longer due to increased visitor numbers.

FAQ: Are there any restrictions or requirements for the tour?

Answer: Yes, there are certain restrictions and requirements for the tour. Visitors must carry a valid photo ID for security screening. Large bags, sharp objects, and liquids are prohibited inside the premises. Photography is permitted only in designated areas.

For more questions, make sure to visit the Parliament’s tour page at https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/visit/public-tour/

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