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Sydney Opera House facts for kids

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Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House at dusk.jpg
General information
Status Complete
Type Performing arts centre
Architectural style Expressionist
Location Bennelong Point, Sydney
Country Australia
Coordinates 33°51′31″S 151°12′51″E / 33.85861°S 151.21417°E / -33.85861; 151.21417
Elevation 4 m (13 ft)
Current tenants
Groundbreaking 1 March 1959
Construction started 1 March 1959
Completed 1973
Opened 20 October 1973
Inaugurated 20 October 1973
Cost A$102 million, equivalent to ~A$927 million in 2016
Client NSW government
Owner NSW Government
Height 65 m (213 ft)
Other dimensions
  • length 183 m (600 ft)
  • width 120 m (394 ft)
  • area 1.8 ha (4.4 acres)
Technical details
Structural system Concrete frame & precast concrete ribbed roof
Design and construction
Architect Jørn Utzon
Structural engineer Ove Arup & Partners
Main contractor Civil & Civic (level 1), M.R. Hornibrook (level 2 and 3 and interiors)
Other information
Seating capacity
  • Concert Hall 2,679
  • Joan Sutherland Theatre 1,507
  • Drama Theatre 544
  • Playhouse 398
  • The Studio 400
  • Utzon Room 210
  • Total 5,738
Type: Cultural
Criteria: i
Designated: 2007 (31st session)
Reference #: 166rev
State Party: Australia
Region: Asia-Pacific
Australian National Heritage List
Type: Historic
Criteria: a, b, e, f, g, h
Designated: 12 July 2005
Reference #: 105738
Type: Built
Criteria: a, b, c, d, e, f, g
Designated: 3 December 2003
Reference #: 01685

The Sydney Opera House is an opera house and iconic building on the shores of Sydney Harbour, in Sydney, Australia. It is shaped like the sails of a boat. Many concerts and events take place there, with 2000 performances a year presented by Opera Australia, Australia's national opera company. It is a famous tourist attraction.


The land where the Sydney Opera House stands is called Bennelong Point. Bennelong Point was once home to Fort Macquarie (the fort was built in 1817 and knocked down in 1901). On 10 August 1902, the Fort Macquarie Tram Depot was opened at Bennelong Point. The depot was knocked down in 1958. The Sydney Opera House was built on the same spot and the work began in 1959.

It was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon. He won a design competition in 1957. Utzon left the project in February 1966 because the government was not paying his invoices. The building finally opened on 20 October in 1973. The project was completed ten years later and cost more than fourteen times the original budget. In 2001, Utzon was invited back to restore the building and change it back towards his original designs.

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