Parliament House stands in the heart of Canberra as the central government building in the capital city of Australia and is a national landmark, a significant Parliament building and a grand piece of architecture. Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the building in 1988, when it replaced the meeting place now known as Old Parliament House. Located on Capital Hill, the central and cyclical park of Canberra, Parliament House dominates the city as one of Australia’s most important buildings, open to visitors every day of the year.
Visitors to Parliament House can take a guided tour of the impressive interior and see the House of Representatives, the Senate, Great Hall and a collection of Australian art, including one the largest tapestries in the world. On the roof of the building, grass lawns cover the floor, and an 81-metre flagpole flies high into the air, where panoramic views offer an incredible, fresh perspective over the city of Canberra. In the public galleries, visitors can witness the daily question time of parliament and watch live national debates between politicians. Parliament House also has a shop where visitors can buy books and videos on government issues and history, local pieces of art or a range of souvenirs to remember their day in the Australian parliament.
Located in the heart of Canberra, Parliament House is easily accessible, and drivers only need to travel down Commonwealth Avenue, a straight main road from the city centre, where parking is also available. Visitors travelling on public transport can take numerous local buses to stops within 200 metres of the entrance, situated on Federation Mall.
An international competition decided the architects of New Parliament House, eventually won by an American firm in 1978, whose manager, Romaldo Giurgola, directed the project. Construction completed in 1988, seven years after it began, and was a billion dollar project. The project included partly digging into Capital Hill to create a design based on the shape of two boomerangs.