After visiting the Opera House and its surroundings I decided for this second day to visit the city center of Sydney starting from Hyde Park and radiating by concentric circles.
St. Mary’s Cathedral
The building of this Catholic cathedral began in 1868 on the remains of a former cathedral that had burned down. While waiting for the end of the work, a wooden church was built but it also burned.
It is a cathedral of neo-gothic style.
It was a long construction since the nave was completed in 1928 and the interior decoration in 1968. The spires of the towers were built in 2000!
Unfortunately during my visit a funeral was taking place and it was not possible to get too close.
That will be for another time.
Hyde Park Barracks Museum
A few steps from the cathedral is Hyde Park Barracks.
These buildings were built by inmates to house prisoners who, convicted in the United Kingdom, were sent to Australia to build the country.
The site kept its original use until 1848 when it became a shelter for single immigrant women and then an asylum for women.
The tour of the site is quite interesting with an audio guide in the form of a first-person narrative of the experience of people who lived there.
A bit like a local Ellis Island, all things considered.
You will then have to walk a little (but not too much) to visit the Sydney Tower.
Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2014 it is the second highest tower in the country (306m) and the second highest observation platform in the southern hemisphere.
It is not obviously accessed through the Westfield Shopping Center.
The view from the top is very beautiful but Sydney lacks notable sites apart from the opera house, so you don’t get the same impression as in New York where the observation decks give a unique view of world famous buildings.
The visit is preceded by the projection of a film in honor of the city without any interest. An outside visit is also possible for those who are not afraid of heights.
Queen Victoria Building
A few minutes away from the Sydney Tower, the Queen Victoria Building is an imposing building (190m long and 30 wide) from the end of the 19th century.
Originally a market, it became an office building, then returned to its original use as a shopping center in the early 20th century.
It was restored in the 1980s and renovated in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
In two words: very pleasant and simply superb.
Sydney Town Hall
Located a little further, its construction lasted from 1869 to 1880. Its architecture is inspired by the city hall of Paris.
Afterwards, it’s an opportunity to walk around the streets and discover the architecture and atmosphere of the city center, or even to finish with a break in Hyde Park.