HomeThis week in historySydney Opera House Opens 20th October 1973

Sydney Opera House Opens 20th October 1973


On the 20th of October 1973 one million people turned out to witness the official opening of the Sydney Opera House by Queen Elizabeth the second.

In 1956 a competition was run to design a new Opera House for Sydney, Australia. There were 223 entries from 28 different countries with each entry costing ten Australian Pounds. In January 1957 Jørn Utzon from Denmark was announced the winner of the £5000 prize. The construction of the Opera House employed around 10,000 people over it’s 14 year construction and the final cost was $102 million Australian Dollars.

The Opera house contains more than 1 million roof tiles imported from Sweden covering approximately 1.62 hectares of roof space. The inside temperature of the concert hall must be precisely 22.5 degrees Celsius when the  Sydney Symphony Orchestra is performing to ensure their instruments stay in tune.

The Sydney Opera House also has good eco credentials with the climate system using seawater taken directly from the Sydney Harbor by circulating cold water through 35 kilometers of pipes to power both the heating and air conditioning in the building.

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