The Shrine Story
The Shrine of Remembrance is Victoria’s largest and most visited war memorial of National Significance. It is Melbourne’s most recognised landmark. It was built in remembrance of those who served and those who died in the Great War of 1914-1918 and armed conflicts and peacekeeping duties since.
The Shrine of Remembrance was built between July 1928 and November 1934 in remembrance of the 114,000 men and women of Victoria who served and those who died in the Great War of 1914-1918 - 89,100 of them served overseas and 19,000 did not return.
The people of Victoria felt that their debt to these volunteers, who had defended them at such great costs to themselves and their families, should be recognised by a worthy permanent monument of remembrance. Although the country was faced with frightful unemployment and financial difficulty in the late 1920s and the 1930s, so great was the gratitude of the people that the huge amount required to build the Shrine was raised or promised within six months from the opening of the appeal in 1928.
The design for the Shrine of Remembrance was selected by competition among Australian artists and architects. Eighty-three designs were submitted and the winning design was by two Melbourne returned-soldier architects, Philip Hudson and James Wardrop. The inspiration for the external outline came from one of the seven wonders of the ancient world—the mausoleum at Harlicarnassus to Mausolus, King of Caria in South West Asia Minor.
Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester and son of King George V, officially opened the Shrine before a crowd of 300,000 people in November 1934. Since then, it has been a growing monument, with other memorials added to the site to mark the service of successive generations, such as the Second World War Forecourt and the Remembrance Garden – Post 1945 Memorial.