Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne


Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne

The Queen Victoria Gardens are Melbourne's memorial to Queen Victoria. Located on 4.8 hectares (12 acres) opposite the Victorian Arts Centre and National Gallery of Victoria, bounded by St Kilda Road, Alexandra Avenue and Linlithgow avenue, it forms part of the Domain parklands along with the Alexandra Gardens, Kings Domain, and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Queen Victoria's reign started in 1837, two years after the initial European settlement of Melbourne, and upon her death in 1901 it was thought appropriate to declare an enduring monument to her reign. A memorial statue, made of white Carrara marble, Harcourt granite and NSW marble, was commissioned from sculptor James White. The statue, manufactured in 1907, shows the Queen in ceremonial gowns casting her regal gaze across ornamental lakes, sweeping lawns and rose gardens to the Melbourne Arts Centre Spire and the city skyscrapers.

A huge floral clock is positioned opposite the National Gallery of Victoria, containing over 7,000 flowering plants which are changed twice yearly. The clock was donated in 1966 to the City of Melbourne by a group of Swiss watchmakers. Behind the clock stands a bronze equestrian statue, a memorial to Queen Victoria's successor, King Edward VII. The statue, by Melbourne born sculptor Bertram Mackennal, was unveiled on July 21, 1920.

Originally home to native grasses, she-oaks, wattles, paperbarks, and river red gums, the area now consists of ornamental lakes, sweeping lawns, flowerbeds of annuals, and mature European and Australian trees and shrubs in a landscaped garden.

As well as the monuments to "Queen Victoria" and "King Edward VII", the gardens are notable for their array of sculptures. These include an exploratory play sculpture for children, "The Genie", by Tom Bass in 1973. "The Pathfinder" was manufactured in 1974 by John Robinson and details a bronze Olympic Hammer thrower in action. "The Phoenix" was sculptored from cast bronze and welded copper sheet by Baroness Yrsa Von Heistner in 1973 to commemorate the 40th International Eucharistic Congress. "The Bronze Water Children" is an installation by John Robinson, made in 1973, which shows playing children at the top of a stream. "The Water Nymph" is a kneeling bronze figure sculptored in 1925 by Paul Montford.

A classic rotunda was built in 1913 and named after Janet Lady Clarke, a philanthropist who worked for the welfare of women in Melbourne.

External links

* [http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/info.cfm?top=25&pa=1273&pg=1296 Melbourne City Council - Queen Victoria Gardens]


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