Shrine of Remembrance

Shrine of Remembrance – Melbourne

Shrine of Remembrance

The path leading to the Shrine of Remembrance.

The Shrine of Remembrance, a war memorial dedicated to the men and women from Victoria, Australia who served in World War I, is on nearly every list of ‘Things To Do in Melbourne.’ For non-Australian and (self-proclaimed) non-museum people, it didn’t make our list of Things To Do until our history-loving friend, Vinny, came to Melbourne for a visit. We scheduled just enough time for the free guided tour – and completely underestimated the sight. In reality, the Shrine of Remembrance deserves a full afternoon to appreciate the symbolic architecture and browse the museum full of artifacts covering Australia’s military involvement since pre-Federation times.

Shrine of Remembrance

Our tour guide, Ralph, was a straight-shooter who had served during World War II. Not only did he impart his knowledge of the past, but he included personal stories that we would have never otherwise heard. He led us through the Shrine Reserve, into the Sanctuary, below to the Crypt, through the Galleries of Remembrance and up to the rooftop terrace.

4000 medals are displayed at the Shrine of Remembrance, each one representing 100 Victorians who served Australia in war

4000 medals are displayed at the Shrine of Remembrance, each one representing 100 Victorians who served Australia in war.

Shrine of Remembrance Reserve

The Reserve encompasses 32 acres of land on which monuments, fountains and trees commemorate the Victorians who have served. A monument to those who served in World War II, accompanied by an eternal flame and flags, stand at the front of the Shrine.

The WWII memorial at the Shrine of Remembrance

The World War II Memorial and Eternal Flame at the Shrine of Remembrance.

Shrine of Remembrance and Sanctuary

The Shrine was built between 1921 and 1934, mostly by Veterans who had returned from war. It occupies an elevated area within the Shrine Reserve with a grand pathway leading to the main entrance. Inside the pyramidal building is the Sanctuary. In the middle of the room is the Stone of Remembrance, a simple marker reading, “Greater love hath no man.”

A simple marker stating "Greater Love Hath No Man" is found inside the Shrine of Remembrance

A simple marker stating “Greater Love Hath No Man” is found inside the Shrine of Remembrance.

On Remembrance Day, which is celebrated on November 11, a beam of sunlight filters through the glass roof and hits the word ‘love’ at exactly 11 a.m. to mark the day and time in 1918 that the war ended. (Every half hour, a simulated light moves across the plaque for visitors to see.) On the walls are the national flags and below them are handwritten books including the names of every Victorian who served abroad in World War I.

The names of every Victorian that served in WWI is handwritten in books in the Shrine of Remembrance

The names of every Victorian that served in WWI is handwritten in books in the Shrine of Remembrance.

Shrine of Remembrance Crypt

Below the sanctuary is the crypt. Hanging from the walls are the ceremonial colors of each regiment. In the middle is the Father and Son sculpture, acknowledging the two generations that fought in the first and second World Wars.

The Crypt in the Shrine of Remembrance

The Crypt in the Shrine of Remembrance.

Galleries of Remembrance

The Galleries of Remembrance and exhibitions include military artifacts from past wars and times of peace. The displays, grouped by conflict, are highlighted by personal memorabilia, such as letters and photographs. Uniforms, art work, and archaic artillery were also on display.

Our guide explained many of the exhibits in the Shrine of Remembrance, giving us insight into the displays

Our guide explained many of the exhibits, giving us insight into the displays.

The Devanha lifeboat transfered men from ships to shore landing at Gallipoli

The Devanha lifeboat transfered men from ships to shore landing at Gallipoli.

Shrine of Remembrance Terrace Rooftop

After being immersed in the history of Australia’s military, we ascended to the open air rooftop. In stark contrast to the brutalities of war, in front of us was Melbourne’s vibrant and beautiful skyline. The fresh perspective of the city was humbling.

View of Melbourne's skyline from the rooftop of the Shrine of Remembrance

View of Melbourne’s skyline from the rooftop.

For more information, go to the Shrine of Remembrance website

We want to know: Have you visited the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne? What did you think? Tell us in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Shrine of Remembrance – Melbourne

    • Thanks! I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I have only been to Canada once – and I lived in Ohio most of my life, which puts it just a 5 hour drive away. Canada is on my list though – such a beautiful country!

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