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Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW, Australia
(02) 9250 7111
NileGuide Expert tip:
Twilight in summer on the Opera House forecourt, with the sun setting, the bridge and city in silhouette, and a cool cocktail in hand, is probably about as good as it gets in this lifetime.
Few cities have such an iconic building as Sydney's Opera House Sure, New York has the Empire State, Rome the Pantheon, Athens has the Acropolis, but for out and out modernity, mixed with breathtaking geography, those off-white billowing sails perched on Bennelong Point have to be one of the great studies of architecture in the 20th century.
Designed by the Danish architect, Jorn Utzon, after the NSW state government conducted a worldwide competition in the late 50s, the $10m original budget soon blew out to more than $100m when it finally opened in 1973. Utzon fell out with the political overseers of the day and quit the project, long before completion.
Though referred to as an opera house, it stages a host of different performance types, including, classical and pop concerts, drama, ballet, comedy, films, talks, and has an exhibition space.
Today it's the cities No 1 tourist draw card and probably the most photographed site in the country. Guided tours (in multiple languages) take you through the labyrinthine innards, including backstage glimpses of some of the theaters.
There are a host of fine eateries and outdoor bars along the forecourt. Twilight in summer, with the sun setting, the bridge in silhouette, and a cool cocktail in hand, is probably about as good as it gets in this lifetime. Seriously!