There’s royal history
Adelaide was built as the planned capital of the state of South Australia, the only freely settled British province in Australia, having been established on December 28, 1836. It takes its name from Queen Adelaide, who was the Queen consort of the UK at the time and was renowned during the era for her piety, modesty and charity. Given her religious devotion, it is fitting that the city named in her honor is known as the ‘City of Churches’ due to the volume of religious buildings dedicated to a melting pot of faiths. A bronze statue of her continues to reside in the foyer of the Town Hall to this day.
Australia’s wine capital
Wine is one of the major industries in the region, with famous names such as Jacob’s Creek, Taylor’s and Penfolds all based in the hills around the city. Indeed, Adelaide is considered to be the wine capital of Australia and ranks alongside Bordeaux in France, Napa Valley in the USA and Bilbao Rioja as one of the great wine regions of the world. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the vineyards is how close to the city they are – Penfolds Magill Estate is just five miles from the center. For those who prefer beer, the city is also known for its craft beer, with numerous microbreweries around the city and its surrounds.
A place of culture
A strong aboriginal heritage is evident in Adelaide, which was an area initially inhabited by the Karuna people and known as Tarndanyangga or ‘the place of the red kangaroo’. Tandanya, the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, for example, aims to develop and showcase arts and culture of the area’s earliest dwellers. It is one of a vast number of museums that Adelaide has to offer, ranging from the biggest collection of aboriginal artefacts at the South Australia Museum through to MOD. – a free science experience that aims to inspire young adults in technology.
A city that loves sport
The city boasts a strong sporting heritage, with the oldest surviving football league of any code played in the country found in the form of the SANFL, a local Australian rules football league. Indeed, there are two professional Aussie rules football sides in the city, Adelaide and Port Adelaide, who share the use of the city’s famous Adelaide Oval during the winter months. Between them, they have been national champions three times. Beyond the local sport, though, soccer, cricket, netball and basketball are also played professionally in the city.
Australia’s most-expensive building
While Adelaide might be a city without towering skyscrapers, it still boasts the world’s third most expensive building in the form of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, which cost AUS$2.7bn (US$1.9bn) to construct. The sheer scale of the building is what makes it so expensive, with it being the biggest ever undertaking in terms of floorspace in the entire country.
Adelaide is renowned for being a forward-thinking city, having been to the forefront of political change throughout its existence. It was the first Australian city to give women the vote, to recognize aboriginal land rights, as well as to take strides towards eliminating sexual and racial discrimination.