Monday, 8 September 2014

Temple of Australia

The Temple of Australia

The Temple of Australia (or Federation Pavilion) is situated in Centennial Park, Sydney. It is a magical structure built over a number of subterranean streams. The domed temple was designed to house the nation’s foundation stone, which was consecrated on January 1st 1901 - inaugurating a nation of federated states independent of Great Britain (legal deficiencies notwithstanding). 

A hole in the centre of the dome allows rain to fall directly onto the sacred prismatic octagonal stone, which is enclosed within a marble twelve pointed star. Water collects in a high moat around the rim, reflecting rippling light into the interior.

The early Grecian-style temple is surrounded by a large stone circle. The interior of the dome is lined with glass panels depicting a rainbow on one side facing a man on the other. He walks through an landscape of concentric red ochre circles and has words ‘faith’, ‘hope’ and ‘charity’ emlazoned upon his brow and body. 

The edifice was built in 1988, on the bicentenary of colonisation. 

The nation’s first Poet Laureate read an ode on the occasion of the nation’s foundation, which included a phrase he referred to as the seminal issue facing the country; 

“Mammon or Millennial Eden” (The worship of money OR paradise for thousands of years).

This phrase is inscribed around the monument, writ in tall letters carved into monumental stone. 


- R. Ayana

Image – author’s @ (click to enlarge)

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