Sydney Opera House
This is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the building was formally opened on 20 October 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II.
After a gestation beginning with Utzon's 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition, work began in 1958 with Utzon directing construction. The government's decision to build Utzon's design is often overshadowed by circumstances that followed, including cost and scheduling overruns as well as the architect's ultimate resignation.
The building and its surrounds occupy the whole of Bennelong Point on Sydney Harbour, between Sydney Cove and Farm Cove, adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, and close by the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Though its name suggests a single venue, the building comprises multiple performance venues which together host well over 1,500 performances annually, attended by more than 1.2 million people. Performances are presented by numerous performing artists, including three resident companies: Opera Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
As one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, more than eight million people visit the site annually, and approximately 350,000 visitors take a guided tour of the building each year. On 28 June 2007, the Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.