The Sydney Opera House is one of the icons of Australia and one of the most emblematic buildings of expressionist architecture. Apart from having a great story, it also hides many curious facts. In this post we will tell them 18 curiosities about the Sydney Opera House so that you can learn more about one of the most photographed buildings in the world. Are you going to be in Sydney soon? We give you Useful information and tips for visiting the beautiful Sydney Opera House.


1. It has a unique crystal in the world

The glass used in the construction of the building It is exclusive to the Sydney Opera House and comes from France. It was commissioned by the builders and custom-made for the occasion, so there is no other building in the world that uses it.

2. The Sydney Opera House was very expensive

The building ended up costing almost 15 times more than expected.. Finally, the cost of construction was 102 million Australian dollars (approximately 60 million dollars or euros), instead of the 7 million anticipated in the initial budget. This was one of the main reasons why the work was paralyzed for a few months.

3. A privileged location

On the land on which the Sydney Opera House stands there was a well-known fortlocated in a more than strategic position on Sydney Bay to monitor all vessel movements.

4. Some interesting facts…

Another of the curiosities of the Sydney Opera House is that it is made up of three different buildings that give the impression of being one. Some 10,000 workers They participated in its construction and the opera was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II on October 20, 1973, months after the completion of the work.

5. It has impressive dimensions

The Sydney Opera House measures 187 meters long and 115 meters wide, dimensions that exceed the size of a football field. It sits on 5,798 hectares of land, a space where 8 Boeing 747 airplanes would fit.

The three buildings that form the opera from Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair

6. It has the largest mechanical instrument in the world

Did you know that there is a organ with 10,154 pipes inside the opera house? It took 10 years to manufacture and assemble. Once completed, it is the largest mechanical music instrument in the world. One of the curiosities of the Sydney Opera House that every music lover should know!

7. What is the largest room in the Opera?

The Sydney Opera House has six performance halls. The largest and best known is the concert hall, which has capacity for almost 3,000 spectators. But in the opera not only art is shown. There is also a recording studio very prestigious for musicians and filmmakers.

8. Located in a very symbolic place

Eugene Goossens, one of the main promoters of the construction, wanted the Opera to be in Bennelong Point. It is a very significant place at a historical level becauseflower The first concert was held in the city in March 1791, starring 24 Aboriginal people. Finally, Goosens achieved his goal. And the truth is that it is an ideal place to highlight such a striking building!

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They chose an ideal location for the Sydney Opera House

9. A building illuminated by thousands of light bulbs

For maintenance tasks, annually 15,500 light bulbs are changed at the Sydney Opera House. Almost nothing!

10. Someone inaugurated the Opera before it was finished

The first person to perform at the Sydney Opera House was Paul Robeson and he did so even though it was not finished. It happened in 1960, when sang Ol’ Man River to the construction workers while they were eating lunch.

11. Accident with a chicken, one of the funniest curiosities of the Sydney Opera House

In the 80’s a chicken fell on the head of an orchestra musician while he was performing at the Opera House. The animal was part of the play “Boris Godunov”, but obviously it was not yet its time to appear on stage. To prevent something similar from happening again, a net was installed above the musicians.

12. The structure has an impressive amount of steel

More than 350 kilometers of steel cable were used in the construction; long enough to connect Sydney with Canberra (or Barcelona with Zaragoza, if you want a more familiar comparison 😉)

13. Its architect did not know the city, one of the most surprising curiosities of the Sydney Opera House

The danish Jørn Utzon won the competition to design the building despite never having been to Sydney. But he had a great advantage: naval experience that helped him study the shape of the port and the location of the Opera House.

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This is how spectacular the port looks thanks to the work of Utzon

14. The project won by a hair’s breadth

Three judges rejected Utzon’s design in the competition, but the prestigious American architect Eero Saarinen was also part of the jury and convinced the rest that Utzon had to be the one chosen ahead of others 232 projects. The winner was awarded the modest amount of £5,000 as a prize, quite small for the great impact of the project worldwide.

15. Inspired by an orange, one of the best curiosities of the Sydney Opera House

Jørn Utzon is believed to have been inspired by the opera’s arched roof design while he was peeling an orange.. There are other sources that say that the Danish architect was also inspired by snails, palm leaves and Mayan temples. In any case, a sample more than nature serves as a great source of inspiration for architects.

16. Its architect did not see it finished

Despite being the most notable work of the Danish architect, he never saw it completed. After running into trouble with the government during the construction of the building, Utzon was forced to leave Australia and never returned. However, he will be remembered for eternity.

17. Record concert

The largest concert held at the Sydney Opera House in terms of attendance was by the band Crowded House in 1996. It is estimated that around 150,000 people gathered around the building to say goodbye to the legendary rock band.

18. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a special affection for it, one of the best curiosities of the Sydney Opera House

The last of our curiosities about the Sydney Opera House has to do with a famous person. Schwarzenegger won his last Mr. Olympia title at an event held at the Sydney Opera House. It was a very controversial and surprising contest, since the actor decided to appear one day before it was held, when he had already left bodybuilding professionally.


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