MELBOURNE SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE

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MELBOURNE SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE

Post by JOHN ECKHART (FONZE) on Mon Jun 27 2016, 17:46

Shrine Exterior
I felt that in this young country, the Great War [First World War] had given birth to a national tradition and that an interior as well as an exterior was necessary to give full vent to our feelings… Here on our isolated and
commanding site, our Memorial must be of a monumental and arresting design with a “soul” which could only be attained by symbolism linking the exterior and interior of the design.
Philip Hudson, The national war memorial of Victoria: the Shrine of Remembrance, unpublished thesis, c.1935
From the earliest reports sent home from Gallipoli the ANZACs were seen as heroes. During the campaign the soldiers themselves had identified with the ancient Greeks. Eight years later, in 1924, Hudson looked to ancient Greek monuments to evoke classical virtues in his design for the Shrine on a site he believed was similar to the Athenian Acropolis. Hudson’s belief in the birth of a national tradition arising from the First World War was representative of an enduring perception of Australian identity.

Shrine of Remembrance architecture

Battle Honours
The stairway which leads to the Shrine is flanked by balustrades on which stand great urns or ornamental stone. Besides these urns each balustrade bears a stone disc on which is carved the name on one of the battle honours and guidons granted by His Majesty King George V. These honour disks are repeated on the southern, eastern and western approaches to the Shrine. They commemorate the following 1914-18 battles: Landing at Anzac; Sari-Bair; Rumani; Gaza-Beersheba; North Sea; Cocos Island; Megiddo; Damascus; Villers Bretonneux; Amiens; Mont St. Quentin; Hindenberg Line; Ypres;  Messines; Pozieres; and,  Bullecourt.
Porticos
The Parthenon in Athens inspired the entrance porches (porticoes) including the Doric order of columns. The porticos on the north and south of the Shrine are identical. Eight massive Doric columns support a triangular pediment enclosing a tympanum of allegorical sculpture beautifully carved.
Hudson made all vertical lines of the Shrine incline towards a point of convergence 2.25 kilometres above ground level. A similar technique, called entasis, was employed by ancient Greek architects to correct optical distortions.
The Northern Tympanum

The tympana are the triangular stone faces of the pediments over the portico columns on the north and south sides of the Shrine. The tympana sculptures, designed by Paul Montford, were carved by Joseph Hamilton and William Hutchings in the Lodge Brothers’ yard between Cowper and Blythe Streets, West Melbourne, next to the King’s (later Queen’s) Warehouse.
Above the northern entrance to the Shrine is a tympanum,  to represent the 'Call to arms'.
… an archaic Grecian Goddess, emblematic of the Mother Country … appeals to her children to defend her… the enthusiasm, the songs, the music and the propaganda inseparable from the advent of War … are pictured [as are] the destruction, the terror and chaos that War carries in its train. The mother fears frankly for her children… The old man is anxious to save and comfort his flock, but he remembers the brave deeds of his youth...

The Southern Tympanum
The tympanum on the south side of the Shrine represents 'The Homecoming'.
The groups … are symbolic of Australia. A splendid youth stands in a shell surrounded by the sea horses of Neptune and he plucks the fruits of the Earth... In the eastern corner sheep are browsing, symbolising the Pastoral industry. Agriculture... [and] Secondary industries are represented... The central group portrays Education… extending naturally to the western corner are the fine Arts, Music, Painting, sculpture and the Sciences.
The Pyramid and Symbol of Glory
The pyramidal roof was inspired by the ancient Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the tomb of the King of Caria (in modern Turkey). Sketched reconstructions of this structure, destroyed long ago, had for centuries infl uenced funerary architecture. Those familiar with the Mausoleum could make this connection, viewing the Shrine as similarly tomb-like. To many the structure would simply convey solidity and permanence.
The crowning feature on top of the Shrine, symbolising glory, was inspired by a similar structure on the ancient Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens.
The feature surmounting the stepped pyramidal roof was based on a similar structure at the top of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens. It was cast by Harry Chalmers, pictured at top left.
Promenades
There are two external promenades that circle the central pyramid of the Shrine.  Stairs inside the Shrine give access to the lower level promenade. The promenades provide unparalleled views of Melbourne.
Buttresses
The external buttress sculptures on the east and west walls represent the virtues of Patriotism, Sacrifice, Justice and Peace and Goodwill. In each a female fi gure stands on a chariot drawn by a pair of lions in triumphal procession. A small child between the lions represents the generations unborn who will be heirs to freedom.
As generation succeeds generation, the Memorial will be a constant inspiration to all that is best in our national life, for the sacrifi ce of the past makes possible the glory of the future. It will always be – a Shrine of Remembrance.
Eastern and Western Walls
The eastern and western walls of the Shrine are given over entirely to dedicatory insricptions carved deep into the stone. The eastern wall bears the following inscription:
THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED BY A GRATEFUL PEOPLE TO THE HONOURED MEMORY OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED THE EMPIRE IN THE GREAT WAR OF 1914-1918
The western wall is inscribed with the following words:
LET ALL MEN KNOW THAT THIS IS HOLY GROUND. THIS SHRINE ESTABLISHED IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AS ON THE SOLID EARTH COMMEMORATES A PEOPLES FORTITUDE AND 
SACRIFICE. YE THEREFORE THAT COME AFTER GIVE REMEMBRANCE.




                                 

                                  
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JOHN ECKHART (FONZE)

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