Presentation on theme: "Bendigos Victorian streetscapes resonate the grandeur of a city that was once the richest in the world. According to the National Trust of Victoria, Bendigos."— Presentation transcript:
Bendigos Victorian streetscapes resonate the grandeur of a city that was once the richest in the world. According to the National Trust of Victoria, Bendigos unique combination of grand gold rush-era public buildings, an intact 19 th century commercial district and a century old park ranks it as one of Australias most impressive regional centres. Bendigo historian James Lerk said the grandeur of the citys heritage buildings is testimony to the incredible wealth of Bendigos quartz reefs, which stretch 3,600 hectares underground. Gold was discovered in Bendigo in 1851 and tens of thousands of people flocked here to seek their fortune. It didnt take long for the sea of canvas miners tents to be replaced by more substantial buildings, said Mr Lerk. Within a decade skilled Cornish miners were sinking shafts to tap the rich gold-bearing quartz reefs that were the source of the citys true wealth. The 1880s and 1890s were major periods of building activity, as it became clear that there were substantial deposits of gold yet to be found. The city was transformed. Fine public buildings such as the Bendigo Town Hall (1885), The School of Mines (1887), Bendigo Post Office (1887) The Art Gallery (1887) and the Law Courts (1896) were built. They were ornate and fanciful combinations often combining many architectural styles. The culture of extravagance was strong. The Shamrock hotel (1897) was rebuilt three times, each more lavish than the last. The prolific work of German architect Charles Vahland and his business partner Robert Getzchmann is another one of Bendigos unique assets. Their designs remain at the centre of Bendigos cultural and commercial life and house such Bendigo institutions as the Capital Theatre (Masonic Hall), Bendigo Health Care Group (Bendigo Base Hospital), the public space of the refurbished Town Hall and the Sandhurst Club, which overlooks leafy Rosalind Park. A good place to sit back and enjoy Vahlands ornate designs is from the former National Bank building on High St which now houses Mullys Cafe. Rising high into the Bendigo skyline is The Sacred Heart Cathedral (1896), viewable from all around the city. This gothic cathedral was not fully completed until 1970 and remains a point of grandeur and stature in the city. On the opposite end of the architectural spectrum is the Bendigo Joss House (1860s), built by the Chinese miners. This poignant reminder of Bendigos diverse religious heritage is still used as a place of worship by Chinese people today.
The Jaara people are the original inhabitants of the area that now constitutes the City of Greater Bendigo. The name Bendigo originated from a world famous bare knuckled boxer, William "Abednigo" Thompson, a shepherd on the Ravenswood run near Bendigo was handy with his fists and became renowned as a great fighter. He lived in his hut on a creek which flowed through the valley where gold was found. It is said that this shepherd, nicknamed "Abednigo" lent his name to this rich Goldfield. Like many of the towns across Central Victoria, Bendigo owes its origins to the gold rushes of the nineteenth century. Gold was first discovered in Bendigo in 1851. In the 1880s Bendigo was the richest city in the world due to its gold production. Gold production in Bendigo was sustained right through until the 1950s and today is seeing a resurgence with Bendigo Mining currently mining underneath the city. In 1871, the area experienced a mining boom which saw over 760 new companies floated at the Beehive Mining Exchange in Pall Mall. The City of Greater Bendigo is one of Victoria's leading regional cities, and is located in the geographic centre of the state, 150 kms north-west of Melbourne. The City of Greater Bendigo has a population of approximately 100,000 with some 85,000 living in the urban areas. Bendigo's location on the northern fringe of the Great Dividing Range means it enjoys a mild climate. The region averages 240 rain-free days per year with a mean January temperature of 29 degrees and 12 degrees in July. Bendigo also boasts the Bendigo Stock Exchange (BSX); the hub for Telstra's national voice and data satellite communication and the Bendigo Community Telco. Bendigo, today is the second highest producing goldfield in Australia and remains the seventh largest in the world. Sir John Quick - a tireless worker for Australia's Federation and a key draftsman of the Australian Constitution spent most of his life in Bendigo and is buried in the Bendigo cemetery. The Bendigo Easter Festival began in 1871 and is Australia's oldest ongoing festival. The Alexandra Fountain was named after the then Princess of Wales, whose Father became Edward VII. The Fountain was officially opened in 1881 by Princess Alexandra's two eldest sons, Princes Albert and George (later to become George V) Work first commenced on the Sacred Heart Cathedral in 1896 and it was officially consecrated in 1977 eighty years later. The height of the main Sacred Heart Cathedral spire is 86.64 metres (284 feet).