World Heritage Site

watercolout painting of theExhibition Building, 1880
Watercolour of the Melbourne Exhibition Building
Source: Museum Victoria

Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens

World Heritage Listing

A World Heritage site is defined as a place that is important to all peoples of the world. The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens was the first non-Aboriginal cultural site in Australia to win World Heritage listing.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee announced the listing on 1 July 2004, after a rigorous international assessment process. The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens qualified under cultural criterion (ii) of the Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention which lists sites that exhibit "an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design".

The Exhibition Building is the only 19th century Great Hall to survive largely intact, still in its original landscape setting, and still used as an exhibition and event venue.

Download Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens World and National Heritage Lists brochure (pdf 581kb).


National Heritage List

The Royal Exhibition Building was added to the Australian Government’s National Heritage List on 20 July 2004. The list recognises and protects our most valued natural, Indigenous and historic heritage sites. It is a snapshot of the nation’s most important places. It reflects the story of our development, from our original inhabitants to the present day, Australia’s spirit and ingenuity, and our unique, living landscapes.

Each place in the List is assessed by the Australian Heritage Council as having national heritage values that can be protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. In this way, we can sustain our heritage for future generations.

Image Gallery

people working on archaeological dig with the Royal Exhibition Building in the background Aerial view of the redevelopment of the western forecourt of the Royal Exhibition Building Nicholson Street entrance of Royal Exhibition Building showing erection of scaffolding Black & white aerial photograph of the Exhibition Building from south east, taken in 1963 Ariel shot of the Royal Exhibition Building, Western Forecourt