The Rocks in Sydney

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Shopping
Reading Time:  6 minutes

The Rocks Area from the water © flickr.com - Alex Proimos/cc-by-2.0

The Rocks Area from the water © flickr.com – Alex Proimos/cc-by-2.0

The Rocks is an urban locality, tourist precinct and historic area of Sydney‘s city centre. It is located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, immediately north-west of the Sydney central business district. The Rocks became established shortly after the colony’s formation in 1788. It was known as Tallawoladah by the Cadigal people. The original buildings were first traditional vernacular houses, of wattle and daub, with thatched roofs, and later of local sandstone, from which the area derives its name. From the earliest history of the settlement, the area had a reputation as a slum and the arriving convicts’ side of town, often frequented by visiting sailors and prostitutes. After November 1790, many of the inhabitants were also aboriginals. In 1823, the district had a population of about 1,200. During the late nineteenth century, the area was dominated by a gang known as the Rocks Push. It maintained this rough reputation until approximately the 1870s.

By the early 20th century, many of the area’s historic buildings were in serious decay. In 1900, bubonic plague broke out, and the state government resumed areas around The Rocks and Darling Harbour, with the intention of demolishing them and rebuilding them. More than 3,800 houses, buildings and wharves were inspected and hundreds demolished, but the continuation of these plans were brought to a halt due to the outbreak of World War I. During the 1920s, several hundred buildings were demolished during the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In 1968, the state government gave control of The Rocks to the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority, with the intention of demolishing all the original buildings, re-developing them as high-density residential dwellings. In February 1971, a group of local residents formed the Rocks Residents Group to oppose the plans. They felt that the new dwellings would result in increased rents, which would force out the traditional residents of the area. The residents’ group requested a green ban from the Builder’s Labourers Federation, who had become increasingly active in preventing controversial developments over the previous four years.

George Street © panoramio.com - Paul Lakin/cc-by-3.0 Campbell's Cove © Greg O'Beirne/cc-by-2.5 Campbell's Cove © Cookaa/cc-by-sa-3.0 Argyle Street © Kgbo/cc-by-sa-4.0 A.S.N. Warehouses © Adam.J.W.C./cc-by-sa-2.5 The Rocks Market © Dudesleeper The Rocks Area from the water © flickr.com - Alex Proimos/cc-by-2.0 Street through The Rocks © flickr.com - Mike Cogh/cc-by-sa-2.0
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The Rocks Area from the water © flickr.com - Alex Proimos/cc-by-2.0
Today the Rocks is a partly gentrified area, but still contains a significant proportion of Housing Commission properties, and there is still a significant problem of urban poverty and street crime in this district. As housing stock becomes dilapidated, government policy is to sell the now extremely valuable public housing units to private owners, in the expectation that they will restore the properties. The Sirius building and the associated “Save Our Sirius” protest group was formed to protest relocation of its residents. In the 2016 Census, there were 774 people in The Rocks.

The close proximity to Circular Quay and the views of the iconic Harbour Bridge, as well as the historic nature of many of the buildings, makes the Rocks very popular with tourists. It features a variety of souvenir and craft shops, as well as many themed and historic pubs. The Rocks Markets operates each weekend, with around 100 stalls. During the week, shopping options include galleries exhibiting Australian artists, such as Ken Done and Ken Duncan, as well as Australian clothing and Australian opal shops. There are numerous historic walks through the area, visiting historical buildings such as Cadmans Cottage and Sydney Observatory, and the Dawes Point Battery, which was the first fortified position in New South Wales. Two separate pubs in The Rocks claim to be Sydney’s oldest surviving pubs: the Fortune of War and the Lord Nelson. Others in the area include the Observer, the Orient, the Mercantile, the Palisade and the Hero of Waterloo. A passenger boat terminal and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is also situated beside the Rocks area. The precinct can also be accessed by rail, as it is within walking distance of Circular Quay station. Water Polo by the Sea is held there every year by Australian Water Polo with the Australia men’s national water polo team take on the International All Stars. Susannah Place Museum is a historic house museum situated in The Rocks. It is a block of four terrace houses that was built in 1844 and had domestic occupants until 1990. It is a documentation of the urban working class community in The Rocks. The terraces in various states of modernity show the evolution of occupation over 150 years

Read more on The Rocks, australia.com – The Rocks, Wikivoyage The Rocks and Wikipedia The Rocks (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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