The Sydney Opera house is one of the most distinctive and recognizable buildings in the world. It's iconic nature has also made it the symbol for Australia in today's world. Jutting out into the Sydney harbour, the soaring sails are spherical shells held up by concrete ribs. The skin is composed of thousands of 4" square tiles of two different colours, which give the finish a shimmering feel. The construction of this icon, however, was mired in controversy. Utzon's design was initially rejected, but Eero Saarinen plucked it from the reject bin and convinced the other jurors to select this building even though it was beyond the engineering capabilities of that time. With soaring costs during the initial 7 years of construction, the government threatened to shut down the project, and began withholding payment from Utzon who eventually resigned in 1966. The building was eventually finished by others in 1973.
The exterior is open 24 hours to the public, the interior can be seen by taking one of their many tours offered or by attending an event. The Guillaume at Bennelong restaurant is also a great place for the public to see the interior structure of the building without paying to see a concert. It is open from about 12pm til midnight.
How to get there?
from the city centre, head east towards the botanical garden. Turn left onto Macquarie Street and follow it to the end, just past Circular Quay.