Victoria Square, Adelaide

Exploring Adelaide

Although Adelaide values its past, yet it is very much a modern city. The balmy climate and excellent local food and wine have given rise to an abundance of street side restaurants and cafés. With its acclaimed arts-based Adelaide Festival, the city also prides itself on being the artistic capital of Australia. Distinguished points of city are listed below.

Victoria Square

victoria square, Adelaide

Address: Flinders & Angas sts.

Victoria Square lies at the geographic heart of the city. In its centre stands a fountain designed by sculptor John Dowie in 1968. Its theme is the three rivers from which Adelaide draws its water: the Torrens, the Murray and the Onkaparinga. Government buildings were erected around much of the square during colonial days and many of these buildings still stand as reminders of a bygone age.

On the north side of Victoria Square stands the General Post Office, an impressive building with an ornate main hall and a clock tower. Opened in 1872, it was hailed by English novelist Anthony Trollope as the "grandest edifice in the town".

On the corner of Wakefield Street, to the east of Victoria Square, stands St Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral. The original cathedral, dedicated in 1858, was a simpler building and plans for expansion were hampered by the lack of rich Catholics in the state. The cathedral was only completed in 1996, when the spire was finally added.

To the south of the square are Adelaide's legal centre and the Magistrates Court. The Supreme Court, built in the 1860s, has a Palladian façade.

Adelaide Town Hall

Adelaide Town Hall, Adelaide

Address: 128 King William St.
Phone No: (08) 8203 7203.
Official Timings: Mon-Fri.

When Adelaide Town Hall, designed in Italianate style by Edmund Wright, was built in 1866, it became the most significant structure on King William Street. It was not long before it took over as the city's premier venue for concerts and civic receptions and is still used as such today. Notable features of the building include its grand staircase and highly ornate and decorative ceiling.

Edmund Wright House

Edmund wright house, Adelaide

Address: 59 King William St.
Phone No: (08) 8226 8555.
Official Timings: Mon-Fri.

Edmund Wright House, originally built for the Bank of South Australia in 1878, was set to be demolished in 1971. However, a general outcry led to its public purchase and restoration. The building was renamed after its main architect, Edmund Wright. The skill and workmanship displayed in the finely proportioned and detailed façade is also evident in the beautiful interior. Today the building is managed by the History Trust of South Australia.

Further along King William Street, at the corner of North Terrace, stands one of Adelaide's finest statues, the South African War Memorial. It shows a "spirited horse and his stalwart rider" and stands in memory of those who lost their lives in the Boer War.