The Australian Parliament House, also known as the Provisional Parliament House, was erected in 1927 and until 1988, it served as the house of the Australian Parliament. This famous place is also used as a venue for exhibitions, lecturers, and even concerts. This impressive building was designed by an architect named John Smith Murdoch. Here are several interesting facts about the Australian Parliament:
The Old Parliament House is opened every day for tourists
As it is not used as the Australian Parliament house anymore, this building is open for tourists every day from 9am until 5pm. Tourists can engage in guided tours or they can take a tour of the Old Parliament House on their own. There are many interesting attractions to see here such as the House of Representatives Chamber, the Kings Hall, the Ministerial Party Room, the Corridors of Power, the Cabinet Room, the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Portrait Gallery, and others.
The Old Parliament House can be booked for various functions
This impressive building still features practical purposes and today it is used to host different types of events and functions. If you are looking for a place where you can hold your next corporate event, the Old Parliament House might be the perfect venue.
Exhibitions are changed every year at the Old Parliament House
The National Portrait Gallery mentioned before houses a multitude of exhibitions throughout the year. Visitors and tourists can take advantage of this to learn more about the culture and history of the Australian Parliament. Additionally, the exhibitions are changed every year, so you will always have something new to see when you visit the Australian Old Parliament House.
The Old Parliament House is located near the Capital Hill
This historical building is situated in the centre of the Parliamentary Triangle, at the base of the Capital Hill. Around the Old Parliament House you can find the Parliamentary Gardens. These gardens were officially opened to the general public in 2004. Today, they are also known as the National Rose Garden.
The Old Parliament House is 3 storeys high
The architect of this building designed the Old Parliament House to be simple yet functional. The first floor of the Old Parliament House is located at the middle level and the entire structure of the building is made from Canberra clay bricks. Timber as well as concrete floors were used at the erection of the Old Parliament House back in 1927. The roofs of the building were made from flat concrete slabs which featured a waterproofed membrane. The Old Parliament House has been restored and renovated several times to be able to accommodate more visitors.
The King’s Hall features a statue of King George V
At the entrance of the Old Parliament House there is a large square room called the King’s Hall. It features a floor made from silver ash woods and jarrah. Here tourists and visitors can admire an impressive statue of the King George V made entirely from bronze. During the time of erecting the Old Parliament House, King George V was monarch.
The Senate and House of Representatives Chambers are enormous and feature high ceilingsIn the Old Parliament House, you can also step inside the Senate Chamber as well as the House of Representatives Chamber. Those rooms are approximately equal in size and they feature timber panelling. The furniture items used in these chambers are made from Australian Black Bean Wood as well as Tasmanian Blackwood.
There are 3 main differences between the Senate Chamber and House of Representatives ChamberAlthough these 2 chambers situated inside the Old Parliament House are quite similar, they feature a couple significant differences. For example, the House of Representatives Chamber features more seating options than the Senate Chamber and the carpets feature a green colour instead of red.
Secondly, the front benches are long and they don’t have desks, in comparison with the benches in the Senate Chamber. Lastly, the speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives Chamber features a stylistic contrast and it is similar to the speaker’s chair in the British House of Commons.
The rear courtyards of the Old Parliament House are enclosed with hedges
A colonnade was used to facilitate the access from the rear courtyards to the gardens. These gardens are enclosed with hedges and they feature numerous trees. They are divided into 2 rose gardens and 2 recreational facilities. In these recreational facilities, tennis courts as well as cricket pitches and bowling areas can be found. The rose gardens currently feature numerous specimens of roses. Some of these roses were donated by strong political figures in Australia.
You can visit the Old Parliament House by yourself using information sheets and maps
Although tourists can take advantage of guided tours, you can also borrow a map and use it to explore the Old Parliament House on your own. Additionally, information sheets can be found at any corner and they provide more details about the cultural and historical significance of various exhibits presented.
The Old Parliament House was expanded multiple times to accommodate more members
The first extensions added to the Old Parliament House were made in 1947. The extensions were built at the rear of the building to offer more office spaces for the members of the Old Parliament House. Later on in 1964, additional extensions were necessary to accommodate the increasing number of members.
During the 1970s, both sides of the Old Parliament House as well as the southwest corner were expanded. The gardens were also extended and they were connected to the main building of the Old Parliament House using a bridge. To accomplish some of these extensions, it was necessary to demolish the original Cabinet Room as well as the Prime Minister’s offices.
Visiting the Old Parliament House can be a truly impressive historical and cultural experience. If you are visiting Canberra with your family members or group of friends, you should give our reasonably-priced coach hire or minibus hire services a try. We will ensure that your travelling group can arrive at the Old Parliament House in a comfortable and elegant manner!