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Sydney




SYDNEY   the real capital of Australia

Sydney is Australia's largest city and its economic, industrial and tourism centre.

4 mio. of the 18. mio Australians live in Sydney.

The Olympic Games 2000 brought the city into the focus of the world.

What is this city like, who are the Sydneysiders and what makes this city so special?



I will try to answer this and start with its special history that began already 50000 years ago.

The history

Scientist say,that Sydney is one of the oldest civilisations in the world. The first inhabitants were Aborigines from the Eora tribe who settled around the sheltered harbour.

They lived in peace and in harmony with the nature until the whites came.

After the french explorer La Perouse and the british explorer James Cook discovered this place by 1770, the British government decided to sent fleets in 1788, who transported convicts from the overcrowded prisons in Great Britain.

The Aborigines were driven away by force, murdered or killed by diseases of the whites.

20.000 were killed during british colonization.

Life in the settlement was very hard and many convicts did not survive, but eventually they established themselves at Sydney cove, that gave the city its name.

The city began to grow, in the 19th century more and more convicts arrived and with them also a lot of free settlers from Europe, California and China.

Many of them were attracted by gold that was found in that area.

By the end of the 19th century,Sydney had a population of 500.000 and was one of the largest cities in the western world with a strong economy and an independent administration.

During WWI and WWII a great number of Europeans and Asians immigrated to Sydney.

Sydney today

Today Sydney has got 4 mio. inhabitants and a multicultural society with people from over 150 nations and a famous gay-community.

It is the capital of the Australian state New South Wales and Ausralia's economic and financial capital.

The city is situated on the northern part of west coast of the continent, on the shores of Sydney Harbour, also called Port Jackson.

The city centre (central buisness district,CBD) lies on the south shore.

Skyscrapers, important traffic junctions, Sydney's most famous tourist attractions, cultural institutions, parks, shopping malls, hotels and nightlife are concentrated in the CBD.

Tourist attractions

When I start talking about tourist attractions, I will of course begin with the most recognisable icon and the most famous landmark of Sydney: The Sydney Opera House - every year a reason for millions of tourists to visit this city.

The 67m high building with its unique and impressing white shell or sail-like roof was opened in 1973 after solving many funding and architectural problems. It was designed by the danish architect Jørn Utzon. The Opera House is in fact not a real Opera House which means that you can go and watch all kinds of performances there, for example drama, dance, concerts, cinema and also exhibitions and conferences.

Some visitors are a bit disappointed by the inside of the building, but you can also have a great day-out without going into it. For example you can sit in one of the outside cafes or restaurants and enjoy the wonderful view over the Harbour.

On weekends you can see how ferrys, boats and yachts nearly build a carpet on the water.

Tourists have the possibility to go on one of the ferries and watch this scenery from another point of view.

Another important attraction on the Harbour is the Harbour Bridge, from where the fireworks are lit on every new year's eve. The bridge, that was built 59 m above sea level, was constructed in 1932 and was at that time an engineering triumph. It is the link between Sydney's city centre and the residential north and is also known by Sydneysiders as the 'Coat Hanger'. More than 150.000 vehicles cross the bridge each day.

For those who want to get to know Sydney's beachlife, there are nearly endless possibilities around the Harbour, but the most popular beach can not be found there: Bondi Beach.




An average of 342 sunny days days per year, mild winters and 7 hours of sunshine every day means that you can swim,surf, go sun-bathing and eat ice-cream almost every day in Sydney!

The city offers also a lot of museums and galleries in the city centre, there is always a large number of exhibitions of modern and aboriginal art. The numerous parks are good for relaxing.

'The Rocks' is the busy, old, historic part of the city. A lot of colonial buildings, historic fascades and alleways can be seen there and therfore attract a lot of tourists.

On weekends there is a big market, where you can find all kinds of souvenirs.

 

Ethnic groups and their problems

That was one side of Sydney, but the other side should not be forgotten.

The different ethnic groups of the city have always been present in Sydney's history, so that

Chinatown Sydney can be compared with Chinatown in New York.

The government in Sydney, as everywhere in Australia, wants to fight against the increasing legal and illegal immigration by taking a hardline on this issue. So it has become very difficult,expensive and even sometimes impossible for a lot of foreigners to immigrate to Sydney since a few years. A lot of Asian refugees and immigrants who come to search for work and a better life are just sent back into their countries again, no matter what poltical or social crisis there are.

The situation of the small group of Aborigines who live in Sydney today has not really improved, although they have officially the same rights as whites. Unemployment, drugs and alcohol are common problems and it is hard to stop this vicious circle, because they are still disadvantaged by many whites in comparison with other minorities, but there is hope for a better future.  Cathy Freemann, a famous Australian athletic of Aboriginal origin lit the Olympic Fire 2000 and was a symbol for a new Australia.

In my opinion, Sydney is a fantastic city to visit and a great place to live. Sydneysiders are friendly, open and do not forget their unique history. They are the ones who make this metropolis so special.

Words: 1052

  










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