Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria.
It is located in the southeastern part of mainland Australia.
As of September 2019, the population of Melbourne is about 5 million people. It is the 2nd most populous city in Australia and Oceania.
Melbourne covers a total area of 2,080 square kilometers (803 square miles).
The city has an average elevation of 31 meters (102 feet) above sea level.
Melbourne was founded on 30 August 1835, in the then-British colony of New South Wales, by free settlers from the colony of Van Diemen’s Land (modern-day Tasmania).
In 1837 the new settlement was given its present name honouring the British prime minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (of Kilmore).
In 1851, four years after Queen Victoria declared it a city, Melbourne became the capital of the new colony of Victoria.
In the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, the city entered a lengthy boom period that, by the late 1880s, had transformed it into one of the world’s largest and wealthiest metropolises.
Australia became a commonwealth, and Melbourne served as its federal capital until 1927, when Canberra was established.
Today, it is a leading financial center in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Queen Victoria Market is a major landmark in Melbourne, Australia, and at around 7 hectares (17 acres) is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. The Queen Victoria Market is the largest and most intact surviving 19th century market in the city.
Federation Square is a venue for arts, culture and public events on the edge of the Melbourne central business district. It covers an area of 3.2 ha (7.9 acres) at the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Streets built above busy railway lines and across the road from Flinders Street station. It incorporates major cultural institutions such as the Ian Potter Centre and ACMI and Koorie Heritage Trust as well as cafes and bars in a series of buildings centred around a large paved square, and a glass walled atrium.
Melbourne Gardens was founded in 1846 when land was reserved on the south side of the Yarra River for a new botanic garden. It extends across 36 hectares (89 acres) that slope to the river with trees, garden beds, lakes and lawns. It displays almost 50,000 individual plants representing 8,500 different species. These are displayed in 30 living plant collections.
The Carlton Gardens is a World Heritage Site located on the northeastern edge of the Central Business District in the suburb of Carlton, in Melbourne. The 26-hectare (64-acre) site contains the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum and Imax Cinema, tennis courts and an award-winning children’s playground. According to the World Heritage listing the Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens are “of historical, architectural, aesthetic, social and scientific (botanical) significance to the State of Victoria.”
The Royal Exhibition Building sits on 26 hectares (64 acres), is 150 meters long and is surrounded by four city streets. It was completed on October 1, 1880, in just 18 months, during the time of the international exhibition movement which presented over 50 exhibitions between 1851 and 1915 in various different places.
Melbourne Museum is a natural and cultural history museum located in the Carlton Gardens in Melbourne. Located adjacent to the Royal Exhibition Building, it is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere. The museum was opened in 2000 as a project of the Government of Victoria, on behalf of Museums Victoria who administrates the venue.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), also known simply as “The G”, is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park. It is the 10th largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, the largest cricket ground by capacity, and has the tallest light towers of any sporting venue.
The lanes and arcades of Melbourne have collectively become culturally important. Numerous lanes, often called laneways, mostly date to the Victorian era of 1837-1901, and as a result of the original Hoddle Grid of 1837, they originated as service laneways for horses and carts. In some parts of the city, notably the Little Lonsdale area, they were associated with the city’s gold-rush era slums.
St Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in Melbourne. The cathedral was designed by the English Gothic Revival architect William Butterfield and completed in 1891, except for the spires which were built to a different design from 1926 to 1932. It is one of Melbourne’s major architectural landmarks.
More recently, it has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a global center for street art, live music and theatre.
It is the host city of annual international events such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, and has also hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The city has the most extensive freeway network in Australia and the largest urban tram network in the world.
Melbourne has a wide range of religious faiths, the most widely held of which is Christianity.
The city has one of the lowest crime rates globally.