Friday, 25 October 2013

Federation Square

Federation Square

         Public square is a place where residents of a town or city gather on special occasions or for a particular purpose. Or simply a place to while away the time.  It is generally an open, wide space and usually located in a prime land near a major intersection.  It is normally accessible anytime of the day and any day of the week. One such place is Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne City.

         If you have not heard of Federation Square, then you have not been to Melbourne.  If you have not been to Federation Square, then something is missing in your itinerary. It is the easiest place to find. Federation Square is just across Flinders Train Station. It is across St.Paul's Cathedral. It is near the Yarra River.  It is at the junction of Swanston Street and Flinders Street.

          Though severely criticized for its unusual architectural design, Federation Square remains as one of the most popular destinations in the City of Melbourne. There is a giant screen where significant events are covered live for public viewing. In its covered area called Atrium, there is a theater and a wide space for exhibits, bazaars or special functions. There is a hotel cum bar next to it. The Melbourne Racing Museum and the Australian Center for the Moving Image can be found at Federation Square.

          Any day is fun day at the Fed Square.  There are acrobats doing their stunts in front of appreciative viewers. There are magicians stunning the crowd with their tricks. There are cyclists, joggers and plain promenaders converging at the Square. And there are friends gathering at watering holes and exchanging pleasantries. Be it summer, autumn, winter or spring, Federation Square is the right place to be.


Federation Square is across St. Paul's Cathedral in the heart of the City.
Significant events can be viewed  through a giant monitor at Federation Square.
At the right side of the square
View of the Yarra River from Federation Square
Melbourne River Cruise starts at the station at Federation Square
Australian Center for the Moving Image is housed at Federation Square.
The Atrium is the covered area of Federation Square.
A restaurant inside the Atrium
Special events are held at Federation Square
Book sale at the Atrium every Saturday
For sale at the Bazaar
In front of Fed Square
The Australian Racing Museum used to be housed at the covered area of Fed Square. It has transferred to  the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Framed souvenir photos
Hotel cum bar 
A horse-drawn carriage passes by Fed Square along Swanston Street.
Watching street entertainers
Magicians awe the crowd with their tricks.
Balancing act
A close-up shot
Relaxing while having a good view of the City
Stairs that lead to the banks of the Yarra River
A trade fair at Fed Square
Men's rowing team maneuvering at the Yarra River
A view of the Princes Bridge and the South Bank from the lower grounds of Federation Square near the Yarra River.
Family outing at Birrarung Mar Park which is next to Fed Square
Lady enjoys the cool breeze at Birrarung Mar Park. It is near the banks of the Yarra River.
It is show time at a trade fair near Fed Square.
Yamaha rider sends a text message before leaving Federation Square.
Bicycles chained to racks at the Square.
Pedals of Greenspeed Recumbent Trikes are in front.
Nice old school bike
Another view of buildings at the South Bank across the public square
On their way to the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Tram station in front of Federation Square
Members of an organization meet at the Square.
Parlor games which include audience participation

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Shrine of Remembrance

The Shrine of Remembrance

          The officer-in-charge was in maroon uniform and was wearing a headband.  She looked strict and meant business all the time. She was gathering a group of tourists. She wanted them to assemble around a symbolic stone and observe a one-minute silence. She was looking at me and was gesturing that I should join.  The place is part of an enclosed edifice which is popularly called Sanctuary. And the symbolic stone is called Stone of Remembrance.  All can be seen at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

          One of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia, the Shrine of Remembrance is a massive structure that appears imposing as you travel through St. Kilda Road. This edifice was constructed in such a way that its centerpoint is aligned with St. Kilda Road which leads to the City proper. This alignment is highlighted by Remembrance Trees that line the main entrance. From the top of the Shrine, visitors get a good view of the City.

          The Shrine of Remembrance was built in memory of Australian soldiers who perished in World War I.  This would, later on, include WWII heroes. Australia takes pride in the fact that almost all towns have  war memorials dedicated to those who fought and died in action. And the Shrine of Remembrance is the biggest memorial of them all in the State of Victoria. At 11 in the morning of November 11 of each year, thousands gather at the shrine to remember those who gave up their lives for the country and democracy. On Anzac Day, which is every April 25, people also gather at the Shrine.

          With the lady officer leading, a short prayer was said.  And as I looked at the Stone, I saw the following inscription: Greater love hath no man.  I pulled out my digicam as I joined in the prayer. The itch to shoot was there. I aimed and was anticipating that the lady officer would call my attention and would ask me to stop. She gave me a stern look, but just the same, I pressed the button.  I was waiting for the reprimand  but, instead, she walked away with the other tourists joining her and I could still hear her voice as she continued with her orientation:  " Fighting stopped at 11am on November 11, 1918......after four years of incessant,bloody fighting, World War I came to an end....."

             - Konted

Take the tram bound for Toorak or St. Kilda Beach or South Melbourne  in front of Federation Square.
Travel time is about 5 minutes only.
Alight near Kings Domain Gardens
The Shrine of Remembrance as viewed from St. Kilda Road.
Easy directions for tourists
The Shrine is aligned with St. Kilda Road.
View of the forecourt and the City from the upper level of The Shrine. The paved walkway is called Ceremonial Avenue.
The Cenotaph and the Eternal Flame at the WWII forecourt
In memory of war heroes
The fallen soldier will always be remembered.
The Man with the Donkey
Closer view of the City from the Forecourt
Busload of tourists at The Shrine
The Gallery of Medals with about 4,000 medals on display
War  memorabilia
War medal at the museum
Visitors' Information Center
Free brochures
Audio-visual room  at The Shrine
Father and Son Sculpture
All about the Father and Son sculpture
Forget them not
The Stone of Remembrance at The Sanctuary
At one side of The Shrine
The Legacy Garden of Appreciation planted with red Flanders poppies
Your donations will be appreciated
Near The Shrine
A trade fair at the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens
For visual aids
Australian hats for sale
Australian hats and bags at reasonable prices
Food van at the bazaar