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Sydney's Victorian-style shopping centres


Sydney has two shopping thoroughfares built in the 19th century - in the Victorian style - that arguably are equal to anything of the same style and era in Great Britain.


The largest and most spectacular, the Queen Victoria Building, has been described by Pierre Cardin as "the most beautifil shopping centre in the world".


The QVB is an outstanding example of Byzantine architecture that occupies an entire city block. It was completed in 1898 to replace the original Sydney Markets. Earlier, in 1869, the entire market area was roofed and the street became an arcade within the market.

The building has a series of domes and domelets with exquisite stained glass windows and extensive wood panelling throughout. An original 19th century staircase sits alongside the dome.


The second Victorian eye-catcher is the Strand Arcade.


Built in 1891, it was the fifth and last arcade built in the magnificant Victorian style style.


It is Sydney's only remaining Victorian-style arcade.


The arcade survived two financial depressions - one in the 1890s and the other in the 1930s - and was threatened by fires in 1976 and 1980.


It was once described as "The finest public thoroughfare in the Australian colonies".