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The White Hat Guide to the

Royal Exhibition Building

One of the grandest buildings of Melbourne with an important history.

Royal Exhibition Building

Carlton Gardens



This grand old Victorian dame probably represents Melbourne better than any other building because of the continuous and diverse service it has paid to Melbournians. Erected in 1880 for our first Grand International Exhibition it was built by Nellie Melba�s father. After the exhibitions of 1880 and 1888 it hosted the opening of Federal Parliament, housed our state parliament for twenty-odd years, served as an emergency hospital during the influenza epidemic after World War One, hosted several Olympic sports during the Melbourne Olympic Games and has been the venue for countless exhibitions and trade shows. This wonderful building, unlike some of its more ornate Victorian cousins, is egalitarian and non-judgemental. One week it will be hosting an upmarket society event for the top end of town, and the next week it will be welcoming a throw out sale of remnants and remainders. It does both with equal grace and is a building where Melburnians from all walks of life feel �at home�.

For over a century the Royal Exhibition Building was used for major exhibitions and trade shows. The venue now used for most such events is the Exhibition and Convention Centre in Southbank (known by the locals as Jeff's Shed).

Some forthcoming events at the Royal Exhibition Building:

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is now regarded as the largest and most successful horticultural event in the Southern Hemisphere.

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The Big Design Market

Featuring 230 stallholders across homewares, textiles, fashion, furniture, lighting, stationery, lifestyle & kids products. You can also attend creative workshops, pick up showbags at $25 each, or take advantage of the free kids activities. White Hat suggests that you may find a number of items suitable for Christmas gifts that are not your run-of-the-mill department store fare. Adults $2 - children 12 and under free. Details at The Big Design Market.

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