CURIOCITY: OPEN HOUSE MELBOURNE

For one weekend every year buildings around Melbourne opens their doors and lets the public in to have a bit of a snoop around.

OpenHouseMelbourne

Open House Melbourne puts a spotlight on the buildings and places that make our city so unique and special. All kinds of buildings are available to explore, from Circus Oz headquarters out in Collingwood, Parliament, WW2 Royal Melbourne Hospital Tunnels to the St Kilda Library and Myer Mural Hall.

OpenHouseMelbourne

For my #CurioCity experience I went underground to explore the Old Treasury vaults and learn a little more about the blingin’ foundation of Melbourne – gold. The Treasury’s Gold Rush exhibition ‘Built On Gold’ is dotted throughout the vaults that were used to store Victoria’s gold during the Gold Rush.

OpenHouseMelbourne

photo 3-44

OpenHouseMelbourne

The Welcome Strange – a replica of the largest nugget ever found in the world. Discovered in central Victoria in 1869. Today worth around $4 million.

OpenHouseMelbourne

The past truly comes alive with displays in each vault about living, working and highway robbing in late 1800s Victoria.

OpenHouseMelbourne

My favourite display was ‘The Melbourne Panorama’, comparing a 2012 picture of high-rise Melbourne with a 1862 panorama of Melbourne as a newly built gold rush city. Fitzroy (Melbourne’s first suburb), the Princess Theatre, Melbourne Gaol and many other iconic buildings are barely recognisable in their original forms.
OpenHouseMelbourne

Not only gold called the vaults home. The original caretaker of the Treasury living in the vaults with his family. Their rooms and stories have been recreated from family records and recollections.

OpenHouseMelbourne

Above ground the #CurioCity banner infront of the German Lutheran Church caught my eye next. Another product of the Gold Rush era it was built in 1874.

OpenHouseMelbourne

My highlight was the two tiny old ladies in the Church hall selling handmade quilts and embroidery chatting away in German.

OpenHouseMelbourne

Translation (by my mother) “Christ said: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Continuing on the religious theme St Patrick’s Cathedral was across the road. I’ve walked past it countless times but having never been inside this was the perfect excuse to have a quick explore.

OpenHouseMelbourne

OpenHouseMelbourne

OpenHouseMelbourne

OpenHouseMelbourne

Aids Conference Memorial Quilts for delegates on flight MH17.

OpenHouseMelbourne

The cathedral organist was on hand to play and patiently answered the millions of questions of visitors.

OpenHouseMelbourne

If you missed Open House this year my advice for next is to plan your visit early. Their website is excellent and features itineraries including “Queues Expected”, “No Queues Expected”, which venues are accessible and good for kids. Access to some venues is released by ballot weeks before and be prepared to wait in line to get into places like The Hotel Windsor.

OpenHouseMelbourne

Even if you only have time to peep into the odd building or two Open House is a perfect excuse to be a little bit nosy and see Melbourne behind closed doors.

Get out of the house
Open House Melbourne
www.openhousemelbourne.org

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9 comments

  1. Ohhhh, this little glimpse into Old Treasury will make me add it to the list for next year! Looks great!
    Love, LOVE Open House Melbourne!

  2. Open House Melbourne is my favourite weekend of the year! I didn’t get to any buildings this year but went on a tour of the archaeological digs they are doing at Pentridge prison and a food tour of Sydney Road

  3. I love open house – but this year my planning was terrible so I barely made it to any sites. Living vicariously through your blog! Great summary! x

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