Monday, January 16, 2012

Anzac Square - Brisbane

I think of all the green spaces within the Brisbane Central Business District the one that captivated me most was probably Anzac Square. My first glimpse of it was caught on our way to catch the train home after our first trip into the CBD & Botanic Gardens.

A  pretty green space viewed from a balcony on the way to the train station - I didn't realise the name or significance of the area. The next day we ventured into the city again  & approached the space from another direction. Reading the signage I realised that it was an area dedicated as a memorial to the Queensland men and women who participated in overseas armed service, named in honour of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

The Greek Classic Revival columned structure in the middle distance is "The Shrine of Remembrance", the 18 columns of the Shrine represent the year of peace after World War 1 - 1918. The steps leading up to it also represent the year 1918 with 19 stairs in the first row and 18 stairs in the second row.

Tucked away behind the wall & under the Shrine of Remembrance is the The Shrine of  Memories. While the external wall is dedicated to those who served in WWI, the inside of the shrine is dedicated to those who served in WWII. Walking through here one can't help notice the many lives sacrificed to protect a commonwealth country.

Within The Shrine of Memories is the Eternal Flame of Remembrance held within this Bronze Urn. Carved in the coping around the top of the shrine are the battles that those from the ANZAC units figured predominantly in Cocos Islands, Romani, Jerusalem, Damascus, Pozieres, Bullecourt, Messines, Ypres, Amiens, Villers-Bretonneaux, Mont St Quentin & Hindenburg Line.

Building started in 1928, taking two years to complete before it was dedicated on Armistice Day in 1930. I couldn't help but feel that this city has grown around it - yet the square was not out of place.

The structure itself is made of beautiful  Helidon sandstone with stairs in Queensland granite, mellow, gentle & extremely peaceful - quite the opposite to what it is memorialising  I imagine that a Dawn Service in this setting would be quite something.

Everything about this area has been so thoughtfully planned & has such significance that I couldn't help but wish that both of my boys were there with me to see it - so this post is for them.

ANZAC Square - Circa late 1920's.


Sharon Driscoll said...

What an incredible tour Deb - I'll never get out of the States! More more please....

Deb said...

As far as cities go it has some lovely spots amongst all the high rises. I'm hoping that we can find somewhere semi rural.....