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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 21, 2021
Headline for 05 Unknown Facts About Melbourne - A City That Enthrals and Inspires
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Joanna James Joanna James
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05 Unknown Facts About Melbourne - A City That Enthrals and Inspires

While you may know all about the attractions in Melbourne, you may not be as knowledgeable on some rather remarkable facts about this city. Check out these little-known things about this cosmopolitan metropolis which are bound to make you want to visit even more!

1

Melbourne Was Once Batmania

In case you are wondering, the fact that this area was once named Batmania has nothing to do with a love for the "caped crusader" aka Batman! This former name stemmed from the fact, that one of the city's founding fathers was (no, not Bruce Wayne) John Batman who arrived here in 1835; he wouldn't have known it at the time, but he had a surname that most comic book fans would envy. Melbourne also has a park by the Yarra River named after him, aptly called Batman Park!

2

Largest Stained-Glass Ceiling

For art lovers travelling to Melbourne, city attractions such as the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) provide a chance to see inspiring works by local and international artists. However, at the NGV, you will also find another sight of interest that is equally captivating; the largest stained-glass ceiling on the planet! This mesmerising and intricately created marvel can be seen at the site's Great Hall and spans 51 metres in length while being 15 metres wide. The best way to take it all in is to lie on the floor and gaze at its wonder.

3

Largest Open-Air Market

Officially inaugurated in 1878, Queen Victoria Market is one of the city's prominent 19th-century markets; home to 600 traders, few can rival its size in the world and which is why it's also the southern hemisphere's largest open-air market. Walking distance away from city properties such as Avani Melbourne Central Residences, "'Vic Market" as it's known, attracts both locals and tourists keen on exploring and shopping. Be it fresh produce, meats, souvenirs, jewellery, arts and crafts, clothing, food, coffee or live music and entertainment, there's much to enjoy here.

4

The World's Sporting Capital

Melbourne is also known as the world's sporting capital; not only do Melbournians love to watch and play sports, but the city hosts some of the most thrilling international sporting events too. Tennis fans can catch grand slam action at the Australian Open, while events like the Boxing Day Test Match (cricket) and the Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final can be witnessed here too. But wait, there's more! You can also watch the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, thoroughbreds racing at the Melbourne Cup and international rugby union matches as well.

5

The First Chinatown in Australia

In the 1850s, during the time of the gold rush in Victoria, the buildings of what was to be the first Chinatown in Australia were set up; in fact, it lays claim to be the Southern Hemisphere's oldest Chinatown too. Those stepping through the red gates into this area will be transported to another world; you can savour dumplings and yum cha, visit herbalist centres, shop for fashion, experience fine dining, enjoy nightlife at one of the bars and even showcase your vocals with some karaoke singing!