See the impressive buildings found scattered about this bustling city!

Adelaide is a perfect balance of green parklands, stretches of beaches and fantastic wine regions. But one of the biggest draws for visitors is, in fact, the stylish buildings scattered about, being a distinguished city for its historic buildings and noteworthy architecture. Nicknamed ‘the City of Churches’, it is rich in heritage landmarks and plenty of different architectural styles. Take a look at our guide through Adelaide’s changing architecture style!

The Difference styles of Adelaide’s Architecture

The architecture of the region is characterised by six styles, including Old Colonial to 1840, Victorian to 1890, Federation to 1915, Interwar, Postwar and the Late Twentieth Century from 1960. In the first few generations of Adelaide’s settlement, architecture was a tool used to showcase an impression of stability and prosperity. Over time however, architecture became bigger, blending the impressive styles of buildings with the geometric combination of the city’s subdivisions and parklands. Transforming Adelaide into a unique region of architecture and grassland, quite different to any other Australian city. Although the modern and practical side of city-building took over later down the track, the city is still a proud area for their architectural skill, with historic attractions and stunning modern buildings built here by some of the greatest architectures in the country.

Architectural Tourist Spots

Beehive Corner

The name refers to a corner located in the centre of Adelaide, nestled on the north-eastern corner of King William and Rundle Street. It sits in the middle of the bustling shopping precinct, once being a draper’s shop called the Beehive, due to the decoration of the beehive motif on the glass doors. The building that sits on the corner now was built in 1896, designed by George Klewitz Soward and Thomas English, drawing on the Gothic Revival style, but showcasing an incredible amount of complex detail for a building created during this period.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square, also known as Tarntanyangga, is a famous public square home a number of the city’s most prestigious buildings. To the east of the square, you’ll find a Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St Francis Xavier as well as the State Government offices. In the west of the square, there are commercial buildings, Adelaide Central Market, and numerous hotels.

Parliament House

This building is one of the most impressive buildings in Adelaide, but there were actually two building designs in its time, known as the Old Parliament House and the final version. The Old Parliament House was built in 1855 but it faced numerous issues, including being over-congested and extremely stuffy. Another building was then later developed, created in a Neoclassical style with ten large columns which are the buildings greatest feature.

St Peter’s Cathedral

This building is reminiscent of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, boasting a beautiful rose window above the main entrance and sharp roof points. Building for the Cathedral began in 1869, with only a certain region of the church finished and opened by 1877. Today, you can still clearly see this first part by the change in colour on the ceiling. The entire building wasn’t finished until 1911, with the floor, tiles, and roof all replaced in 1990.

Explore the Adelaide Tours!

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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