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Melbourne was originally founded in 1835 and was called Batmania. At the time, John Batman, who claimed to be the father founder, decided to name the city after himself. The name Batmania was then given to the settlement. On the 10th of April 1837, Governor Richard Bourke decided to name the settlement after the British Prime Minister at the time, William Lamb, also known as Lord Melbourne. Also, the main street in Melbourne CBD is called Bourke Street, after Richard Bourke, as a tribute for naming the city. He was the governor of New South Wales until 1837.
Melbourne NicknamesThe Garden City
The weather in Melbourne is changeable. One can experience the four seasons in a single day because Melbourne’s climate is continental (similar to continental Europe). The city grid of Melbourne was designed by Robert Hoddle. Major streets in Melbourne were constructed 99ft wide so a 16-horse carriage could make a U-turn. Swanston Street is one of these streets. Located on Little Bourke Street, and founded during the Gold Rush, Melbourne’s Chinatown is the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere. Over 40,000 people came from China during this time in history. It’s the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the Western World. Melbourne has the most cafes per capita. It’s known as the coffee capital of Australia. The coffee culture in Melbourne started after WWII when Italians moved to Australia. A lot of Melbournians carry around a reusable coffee cup. It’s not unusual for Melbournians to get up to five coffees a day from a local cafe. A few years back, they realised that the waste generated by paper coffee cups in Melbourne was enough to fill a whole tram. For this reason, baristas started to push people to use reusable cups. The KeepCup which was invented by two siblings in Melbourne. Coffees have different names in Melbourne. In Melbourne, most coffees are not named the same way as anywhere else in the world. For example, Americanos are more commonly referred to as long black. There are wild penguins in Melbourne. Phillip Island is famous for its penguin parade but they can also be seen in St Kilda. At sunset, one they come back to the rocks to sleep for the night. Melbourne is home to a lot of hidden bars. Melbourne’s design uses a grid system. There are large streets and laneways. These small laneways have murals and hidden bars. St Paul’s Cathedral is made of two different types of stones. The bottom part of the building is not quite the same colour as the steeples. This is because the steeples were not part of the original church. They were added 80 years later. At the time, they had to source more stone to be able to build them. Unfortunately, they were unable to find the same stones which is why the colour is slightly different. “Under the clocks” is a traditional meeting place in Melbourne. The clocks are featured on the facade of Flinders Street Station. Flinders Street Station is Australia’s busiest train station. When Flinders Street Station opened, it was, at the time, the busiest train station in the world. There are flashing lights embedded in the footpath in Melbourne. Since 2017, the city has installed flashing lights in the footpath, just before a crossing path. This was done because they noticed that a lot of people were looking at their phone while walking rather than paying attention to traffic. These lights match the pedestrian lights. That means that even while looking down, a person knows if they can cross the road. According to the RSPCA, there are 23 foxes per square kilometre in Melbourne, making it the fox capital of the world. Streets in Melbourne CBD follow the names of the British monarchs. One will find King Street, followed by William Street, Queen Street and Elizabeth Street. Melbourne History Melbourne used to be the capital of Australia. Until 1901, Australia wasn’t one nation but six British colonies. It became officially the federation of Australia on the first of January 1901. At the time, Melbourne and Sydney were fighting over the title of capital of Australia which is why it was decided it would be another city, a brand new one, Canberra. Although Canberra was founded in 1913, the parliament only opened in 1927. For this reason, Melbourne acted as the interim capital of Australia between 1901 and 1927. The world’s first feature film was made in Melbourne. The first feature-film in the world was The Story of the Kelly Gang. This 60-minute film was shown for the first time on the 26th of December 1906, at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne. The filmstrip was over 1,200 meters long. The Story of the Kelly Gang is about the famous Australian bandit, Ned Kelly.
Interesting Facts About MelbourneMelbourne was the first city outside of Europe and North America to host the Olympic games. Melbourne hosted the summer Olympics in 1956. At the time, fewer than 15 countries had the privilege to host the famous games and they were all in Europe or North America. Japan was supposed to host the games in 1940 but they were cancelled because of WWII. The black box for planes was invented in Melbourne. Although the French had been working on it since WWII, the person who actually invented the black box flight recorder was Australian. His name was David Warren and he came up with the invention in Melbourne, in 1953. His dad had died from a plane crash in 1934 which is what motivated him to develop this revolutionary invention. Melbourne’s tram system is the largest and longest continually operating tram system in the world. There are 250 km of tracks. The trams in Melbourne will soon be solar-powered. The first electric traffic lights in Australia were installed in 1928 on the corner of Collins and Swanston Streets in Melbourne. The National Gallery of Victoria is Australia’s oldest art museum. It was established in 1861 which is before Australia became a federation. Now, it’s the most popular art gallery in Australia and is the 15th most visited in the world. Melbourne was awarded “most liveable city in the world” for seven years in a row. The Global Liveability index started in 2002. Since then, Melbourne has always been in the top 3. This alone is already very impressive but from 2010 to 2017, it got the number 1 spot. In 2020, this title went to the Austrian capital, Vienna, but Melbourne made it second. Today, Melbourne is one of the largest Greek diasporas in the world and is the city with the largest Greek population outside of Greece itself. Since World War II, Greeks have immigrated to Australia. Melbourne, specifically. There are about 200,000 Greeks in Melbourne. Melbourne is also twinned with the Greek city of Thessaloniki. In 1880, Melbourne was the richest city in the world. In 1851, settlers discovered gold in Melbourne and the surrounding area. This led to the Australian Gold Rush. By 1880, the economy boomed so much that it became the richest city in the world. At this point, it was also the second-largest city in the British Empire (after London). Melbourne is a very cosmopolitan city. It’s home to huge Italian, Chinese and Greek communities. In fact, over a third of Melbournians were born outside of Australia. The State Library of Victoria which opened in 1856 is the oldest free public library in Australia. At the time, it was named Melbourne Public Library. The Luna Park in St Kilda is the oldest theme park in Australia. Located on the foreshore of St Kilda, the Luna Park opened in 1912. It partially closed for a few years because of the WWI (1916-1923) but has been fully entertaining Melbournians and international visitors ever since. The great scenic railway is also one of the oldest roller coasters in the world. It has been there since the park opened. It’s the only attraction that stayed open throughout World War I. Melbourne’s pubs had to close by 6 pm until 1966. Starting from 1915, a curfew was put in place for pubs and bars in Melbourne. They had to close by 6 pm which started during the first World War and lasted until 1966. This is where the Australian expression “Six o’clock swill” originates. There are hidden waterways in Melbourne. When the city was initially designed, the streets were acting as sewage which had an enormous health impact. A lot of diseases began. To stop this, they decided to move some of the waterways underground. This is the case for Williams Creek which is underneath Elizabeth Street. The ladies public toilets were built to show off Melbourne’s wealth. During the Gold Rush, Melbourne was the richest city in the world and intended to show it. One of the best ways they found at the time was to build public toilets for ladies. At the time, the ladies were not supposed to stay out of the home for long. No city in the world would build public toilets for women because they were considered useless. By building them, Melbourne was showing they had enough money to build something that would barely be used. There are two main kinds of architecture in Melbourne: Gold Rush and Art Deco. Located in front of Melbourne Town Hall which features a Gold Rush style, the Manchester Unity Building is a beautiful example of art deco architecture in Melbourne. Two of the three tallest building in Australia are in Melbourne. The tallest building in Australia is the Q1 on the Sunshine Coast. The next two are Australia 108 and Eureka Tower, located in South Bank. St Kilda’s Palais Theatre is one of the most famous theatres in the world and the largest seated theatre in Australia with 2,896 seats. The largest seating theatre in the world is Metropolitan Opera House, located in New York City with 3,800 seats. Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most famous landmarks in Melbourne CBD. Over 600 traders sell fresh products and souvenirs. 22 million jars of Vegemite are produced in Melbourne every year. Vegemite is Australia’s most famous spread. It outsells all sort of other spreads in the country. The manufacturing factory is located in Port Melbourne.
Famous People from MelbourneChris Hemsworth, Kylie Minogue, Liam Hemsworth, Rupert Murdoch, Barry Humphries, James Mason, Curtis Stone, Helen Reddy, Cate Blanchett, Kyrie Irving, Grace Mulgrew, Harvey Petito, Ruby Rose, Steve Irwin, Mitchell Hope, Eliza Taylor, Jai Brooks, Ben Simmons, Beau Brooks, Rahart Adams, Luke Brooks, Katja Glieson, Vance Joy, Luke Hemsworth, Emilie De Ravin, Jordan Jones, Flea, Jesse Spencer, Stan Walker, Emily Browning, Bridget Williams, Jake Ryan, Dannii Minogue, Marny Kennedy, Bella Paige