Visiting the Sydney Opera House

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Learn a little bit more about this  iconic building

Learn a little bit more about this iconic building


If you’ve never been to Sydney before, you at least know all the cultural landmark icons that so famously make up its persona. When you think Sydney, you likely think images of cuddly koala bears juxtaposed to the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. As such, these are all bucket list items that you need to see when you’ve decided to finally head for a trip Down Under yourself.

Today, we’re going to talk a little bit more about the experience of visiting the Sydney Opera House. This is one of the most famous structures in the world, but ask yourself, do you know much more about it other than what it looks like?

Here at The Macleay Hotel, we love the Opera House and its rich history as one of Sydney’s most popular attractions – plus, it’s so close (literally a seven minute ride right across the harbour) from your room, so we have lots to share with you! Let’s check it out.

The development of the Opera House

The Opera House was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, though he was rejected by three judges before a fourth declared it was brilliant. From 1957 to 1973, it took 16 years to build and despite being a relatively young building, it’s one of the most recognisable in the world. However, the construction of the building was incredibly complex – it took four years to figure out how to construct the waves of the roof – and expensive, which upset many of the locals. Of course, once it was finished, the complaining subsided. In 2007, the building was made a UNESCO World Heritage site.

As it is one of the most famous buildings in the world, we thought you'd like to know a bit more about it!As it is one of the most famous buildings in the world, we thought you’d like to know a bit more about it!

The first production 

The first show ever performed under the roof took place on September 28, 1973 with Prokofiev’s “War and Peace” enjoyed by the audience. Since then, the venue has seen a variety of different entertainment shows – operas not excluded! There has been everything from musicals to Sydney’s Philharmonic Choir and even some Mr Olympia body building competitions – an event that was won by the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1980.

A random, yet fun fact

Once we get up from a performance, we often don’t think about the maintenance that goes into keeping this building in tip-top shape. But did you know, that with 1,000 rooms in this building, about 15,500 light bulbs are changed every year? The show must go on after all, they say!

Book your stay with us at The Macleay Hotel and we’ll help you see a show or take a tour! This is a building you need to see from the inside – don’t just pose for pictures in front of it!