Australian Parliament House – An Iconic Symbol of Australian Politics
When we reached Canberra, our tour guide drove us first to see the National Embassies located not far and also surrounds Parliament House. We drove between Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne Avenue to see different and fascinating buildings that unique on their own as cultural identity of the country they belong to.
Then, we drove up to Capital Hill where the current Parliament House stands which symbolizes Australian politics. For me the building is like White House because White House represents American Government while Parliament House represents Australian Government. Living in Australia comes with familiarity with the country. Every time I watched the news in the morning before I go to office, I used to see Parliament House in the TV where most of the time they feature and interview Prime Minister of the country regarding the current affairs of the nation and its politics.
From the moment that I saw Parliament House, I was excited. I never imagined before that there will be a chance that I will see it up close and personal. I had never even imagined that I will be able to do a building tour and see what’s inside of this so-called ‘National Meeting Place of Parliament of Australia’.
The building is immediately recognizable even from a distance with the help of its location which is at the top of the Capital Hill. It’s architectural design is based on two boomerangs, so if you look down to the building from the sky, it is two boomerangs where its rear are near each other or connected to each other.
Below is my Parliament House building tour story.
We got off from the underground parking of the building. And from there we went up to reached the Forecourt. The rain fell at the time we visited Canberra, the clouds view outside the building was gloomy and the ground outside has been wet due to rain.
Raindrops in my bus window approaching Parliament House
The scenery was different because of heavy and dark sky, but even that was the case, I had been happy to be in that part of the world at that moment. While waiting for others in our group, I had a chance to witness from a far the Old Parliament House (Provisional Parliament House which used in 1927-1988). When the group has been re-assembled, we entered the building.
Scenery From the Forecourt
Old Parliament House (Provisional Parliament House)
The first thing that I saw when I entered the building are the semi-marble clad columns stands all over the ground on its lobby. Second thing to notice are the two grand marble staircases in both sides. My overall impression in the foyer, it showcases how grand the Australian Parliament House is.
THE GREAT HALL
The Great Hall is part of the building that I saw from the 1st Floor since I immediately went up when I saw the grand marble staircase at the foyer. As a discovery in The Great Hall aside from being used for large national gatherings, receptions or events, is the art displayed in one of its space. The ‘Great Hall Tapestry’ which created by collaboration of finest artist when the building is being built.
The Great Hall Tapestry
(One of the Five Treasures in Parliament House)
The Great Hall
I strolled around the building and below are some of the displays to be found inside the building at the time of our visit. This means that these displays might not be available anymore aside from the arts that are permanent display in the building.
Some of the exhibits found during my visit in Parliament House
Opening of Parliament House by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 9 May 1988(1994),
by Marcus Beilby (1951)
The picture on the right side is call “The Big Picture” By Tom Roberts
(One of the Five Treasures in Parliament House)
Some photos of 1st Floor
The Parliament Idealism
While walking around inside the Parliament House and after enjoying some of the displays found in the first floor, next part of the building to be discovered is what they call Member’s Hall. It is a square-shaped located at the center of the building and directly under the huge flag mast.
Surroundings of Members’ Hall
Another part of the building that excites me was at the time that I got a chance to see up close the chambers of the House of Representatives and Senate. Before, I only saw these chambers in TV but during my Canberra’s tour I got a chance to be inside of it. One significant thing that I observed inside of both chambers are the direct sunlight coming through its glass ceiling at its center. The color scheme on each chamber has been based on colors of British Parliament’s House of Commons for House of Representatives Chamber while British Parliament’s House of Lords for the Senate Chamber.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CHAMBER
House of Representatives Chamber
After enjoying what’s inside the Parliament House, another part of the building that excites me during the tour was at the time we went outside and walked at the grass roof of the building. First thing to enjoy were the scenic views to see around Canberra. Because Parliament House stands at the top of Capital Hill, everyone can enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful surroundings where the building is almost at the center of the city. Another thing to enjoy is the up close view of the world’s largest stainless steel structure and its 81-metre high flag mast with its own unique features. And last but not the least to enjoy was anyone can just lie around and have a rest in the grass, enjoy the sky, the fresh air and feel like you are in a park, the only difference, you are at the rooftop of Parliament House.
Scenic Views to enjoy while at the Parliament House Rooftop
Parliament House Rooftop and its World’s Record Flag Mast
I only got a chance to see the Courtyard which is the garden within the Parliament House through glass windows while I was roaming around the first floor of the building, these pictures also shows the recent rain that occurred in the city.
Courtyard snapshots from inside the building