Modern Wonders of the World
Architectural Wonders of
Wall of China
House of Pharos in Alexandria
of Angkor Wat
Warriors of Xian
unusual modern building is
one of the most famous sights of Australia. The Opera House was built
Australia's oldest and biggest city, overlooking a natural deep-water
It is surrounded on three sides by water and its roofs were specially
to look like giant sails.
In the early 1950s an
international competition was held to design a new arts centre in
site chosen was Bennelong Point, a narrow piece of land jutting out
The winner was a Danish
architect called Jorn Utzon. The judges thought that his entry was the
imaginative. It was inspired by sails in the harbor, and by Aztec and
But his amazing construction was not easy to build.
Work began on the foundations
in 1959, and it took four years to complete the base of the building.
the most challenging part of the whole construction - the shell roof.
like this had ever been built before.
The shells that form the roof
make this building different from any other in the world. They are made
2000 prefabricated concrete sections, held together by 350 kilometers
cable. The shells are covered with over a million ceramic tiles. The
white and buff-colored tiles create a pattern that glints in the
The builders disagreed on how
to build the roof and the original design had to be adapted. In 1966
resigned from the project. Four Australian architects took over, and
was finished a year later. It took another six years to make everything
inside the building.
The Sydney Opera House was
officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in October 1973. Inside the
there are four main performing halls. The largest is the Concert Hall,
seats over 2600 people. Above the Concert Hall, the tip of the largest
towers 67 meters above the harbor. The Opera Theatre itself is smaller,
over 1500 seats. The other main halls are the Drama Theatre and the
In the first 20 years after it opened, the Opera
House was visited by 36 million people – over twice the
Australia. More than 2500 performances are held there each year, of
concerts, play and other events.