At the southern end of Hyde Park is the War Memorial. It is a very solemn building that perfectly marries art and architecture. Raynor Hoff was the artist. In the center, under a domed ceiling covered in 50,000 stars ( one for every soldier from here who died in World War I ) is a bronze soldier, naked, and dead, who is being carried on a shield and his arms are draped over a sword. Three women facing outwards carry him on their shoulders. There is a circular mezzanine balcony so the visitor can look down onto the sculpture from above. The mezzanine also has the eternal flame.
Set around the round room are semi domed niches with stone from the scene of important battles. I always stop and touch the dark cold stone from the Somme. That was where my grandfather was wounded, and left for dead by the retreating ANZAC's, he was found by German soldiers and nursed back to health in a German hospital. They put a metal plate in his skull, and metal pins in his leg. It was fortunate that it was the Germans who found him because the British hospitals did not have the expertise for such radical reconstruction at the time. This building represents a lot to me.
On the outside Hoff made beautiful bronze bas reliefs of battle scenes. High up around the ouside of the building are giant dark pink granite soldiers, heads hung in respect. In the corners at the highest place there are standing nurses who cared for the wounded.. Around about there are trees planted of the scrubby pines and other trees from Gallipoli and in front, lined with trees from France, there is a reflecting pool.
There is no place more sacred or holy than this in all of Sydney.