The Sanctuary is inside the memorial and is the Shrine’s most important space. Each year, thousands attend commemorative ceremonies to remember the sacrifices of Australian service men and women.
The Stone of Remembrance is in the centre of the Sanctuary. It is symbolic of a gravestone for those Victorian servicemen and women buried overseas and in unmarked graves.
The Ray of Light
Fighting in the First World War ended at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Each year on this day, Remembrance Day, a natural ray of sunlight enters the Sanctuary to shine on the Stone of Remembrance. At 11 am (Eastern Standard Time) it illuminates the word LOVE.
This is demonstrated hourly throughout the day from 10:30 am.
How to access
Entry to the Sanctuary is via the internal stairs from the Galleries. A lift is also available.
The Galleries of Remembrance
The Galleries present the stories of Australians in wartime during more than 100 years.
Visitors follow this experience presented in more than 800 artworks and historical objects, interactive multimedia, rare images and films.
The Galleries are a cathedral-like space located inside the monument, below the Sanctuary. We recommend at least 1.5 hours to explore them fully.
- more than 4,000 service medals
- an original Gallipoli landing boat
- a Battle of Britain lace
- the Changi Flag
- objects recovered from Hiroshima and the World Trade Centre
- an interactive peace wall
How to access
- via the stairs or lift from the Sanctuary
- entry through the Visitor Centre
The Crypt lies directly beneath the Stone of Remembrance. It commemorates the fighting units of the First World War and features the life-size Father and Son sculpture created by Ray Ewers in 1967—a bronze statue representing generations of service in the First and Second World Wars.
Around the walls of the Crypt, the unit colour patches and the names of ships lost in war are preserved in bronze. Suspended above, Light Horse guidons and Regimental and Sovereign colours represent many Victorian units.
The Balcony provides unique perspectives of the Shrine and the more than 250 memorial trees and features of the 13-hectare Shrine Reserve. Unmatched panoramic views of Melbourne highlight the Shrine’s prominent position and significance to all Victorians.
Access is via stairs only from the Sanctuary.
The Second World War Memorial Forecourt
The forecourt to the north of the Shrine monument is the World War II Memorial. It commemorates the service and sacrifice of Victorians in the Second World War.
- the shape of a non-denominational cross
- the three flagpoles to the east
- the Eternal Flame, lit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1954
- a granite Cenotaph featuring the sculpted effigies of six servicemen, two from each of the three branches of the Australian Defence Force bearing the body of a fallen serviceman
Gardens and memorials
The Shrine monument is surrounded by 13 hectares of gardens known as the Shrine Reserve. The Reserve encompasses gardens, sculptures, water features and memorials.
- more than 250 commemorative plaques and memorial trees
- the Cobbers Memorial
- the Gallipoli Memorial Gardens
- the Legacy Garden
- the Remembrance Garden and post-1945 memorial
- the Women's Garden and Memorial Cairn
Download the Plaque Map:
Reviewed 18 February 2021