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Australian War Memorial

Fast Facts

Name: Australian War Memorial

Location: Australian War Memorial Treloar Crescent (top of ANZAC Parade) Campbell, Australian Capital Territory 2621.

Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm Monday to Friday | 1pm - 5pm Saturday | Closed Sundays and public holidays.

Description: National Memorial commemorating Australian armed forces and supporting organisations. Indoor activity.

Price guide: Free admission

Phone: (02) 6243 4211

The Australian War Memorial, the national memorial of all its armed forces and supporting organisations who have been a part or died in the wars the Commonwealth of Australia has fought, is a large national military museum.

Location

The Australian War Memorial is situated at the northern end of Canberra's ceremonial land axis. The axis comprises of the Parliament House on Capital Hill to Mt Ainslie.

The building

The Australian War Memorial is two storeys high and the floor plan is shaped as a cross. It was completed in 1941, after the outbreak of World War II and officially opened at 11am on 11 November 1941 by the Governor-General Lord Gowrie.

The upper level is dedicated primarily to World War I (the west wing) and World War II (the east wing). In the World War I area there is a lot of material related to the Gallipoli campaign.

Between the wings is the Aircraft Hall containing a number of complete aircraft, mostly from the World War II era.

Architecture

With a Byzantine architecture style and Art Deco influences, the memorial is divided into four parts including the Hall of Memory with the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, the Memorial's Gallery, Research Centre and the Sculpture Garden.

Sculpture Garden

The Sculpture Garden located on the west lawn of the memorial has a many monuments including sculptures of soldiers and bronze plaques, and is also the place for special displays during Memorial Open Days and live music.

ANZAC Hall

In 2001 the ANZAC Hall was added to the north of the original building. So the view of the memorial from Anzac Parade remained the same, ANZAC Hall was designed to be recessed into the grounds below, and hidden behind a wall.

The creator

Australia's official World War 1 historian Charles Bean wanted to create a museum memorial to Australian soldiers after his observation of the 1916 battles in France.

An architectural competition began in 1928 but no winning entry was made. However, two entrants were encouraged to represent a joint design limited by a small budget and the backdrop of the Depression.