King William Street, Adelaide
King William Street, a broad avenue 42m wide, cuts through the center of the city from south to north and continues as King William Road, with the same width, over the Torrens River into North Adelaide. The cross streets change their names at King William Street except for South Terrace and North Terrace, which bound the city on the south and north and keep their names for their whole length. Thanks to the far-sighted planning of the city's founder, King William Street is still able to cope with modern traffic, though many of its 19th C buildings have given place to modern high-rise blocks.
In the center of the city, at the intersection with Grote Street and Wakefield Street, King William Street opens out into Victoria Square, with beautifully laid out gardens. In the shadow of the modern high-rise blocks (among them the Hilton Hotel) a few handsome 19th C buildings have been preserved. In the center of the square is a statue of Queen Victoria. On the north side is a charming fountain by John Dowie, with figures representing the three principal rivers of South Australia, the Murray, the Torrens and the Onkaparinga. Nearby are monuments to the explorers Stuart and Sturt.
A few paces west of Victoria Square, on the south side of Grote Street, is the Central Market, which since the second half of the 19th C. has supplied the city with fresh fruit, vegetables and culinary delicacies. This colorful market was founded in 1870.
Address: Between Gouger and Grote Street, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
Opening hours: 7am-5:30pm; Wed: 9am-5:30pm; Thu: 9am-5:30pm; Fri: 7am-9pm; Sat: 7am-3pm; Closed: Sun, Mon
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
On the south side of Victoria Square are the imposing Magistrates' Courthouse (1851), with a Doric colonnade, and the neoclassical Supreme Court (1868).
St Francis Xavier Cathedral
Edmund Wright House
The preservation of Edmund Wright House is due to a campaign by local people in the 1970s against a proposal to demolish it. This richly decorated building in French Renaissance style was built by Edmund Wright in 1875-8 for the Bank of South Australia.The house now houses the History Trust of South Australia and is open to visitors.
The Italian Renaissance-style Town Hall (by William Wright, 1863) features a handsome clock tower commemorating Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert (d. 1861) which became a city landmark. On the façade are portraits of Italian artists and of Victoria and Albert.
General Post Office
Diagonally opposite the Town Hall is the General Post Office (1867), in a similar style, with a smaller clock tower. In earlier days the arrival of mail from Britain was indicated by a flag during the day and a red light at night.
The Telecommunications Museum features mementos of the legendary postmaster Charles Todd, illustrates the arduous beginnings of communications in the second half of the 19th C and the laying of the overland telegraph line from Port Augusta to Darwin in 1872, later followed by the submarine cable to Java which made possible long-distance communication with Europe.
Some distance north of Victoria Square Rundle Mall, a busy shopping street (pedestrian zone), runs east from King William Street, lined with large department stores, boutiques and shops of all kinds (including several bookshops and art shops).Here too are a number of large shopping arcades - the Rundle Arcade, the Gallery Shopping Centre, the Link Renaissance Centre and Arcade, City Cross, the Regent Arcade, John Martin's Plaza, the Southern Cross Arcade (with the façade of the historic Southern Cross Hotel) and the charmingly old-fashioned Adelaide Arcade (1885). For the relaxation of tired shoppers, too, there are numbers of bistros and cafes.
The western continuation of Rundle Mall beyond King William Street is Hindley Street, in which there are a number of good restaurants and some night spots.
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