The grand Royal Exhibition Building is the world's only surviving Great Hall, constructed as an exhibition space and still used for that purpose.
Completed in 1880 for Melbourne's first International Exhibition, the Royal Exhibition Building was the site of Australia's first Federal Parliament in 1901. In 2004 it became Australia’s first building to be given World Heritage listing.
With its meticulously restored interior, expansive galleries, soaring dome and decorative paintwork, the Great Hall is a magnificent setting for trade shows, fairs and cultural events. Tours run regularly, departing from the nearby Melbourne Museum; call 13 11 02 for details.
The design for the Royal Exhibition Building’s dome was influenced by Brunelleschi’s cathedral dome in Florence. The dome was first illuminated for the 1901 parliament and is still a spectacular sight when occasionally lit at night, appearing to hover over Melbourne's rooftops and visible for miles.