Monuments and Sculptures of Greek Mythology honoured in Australia

Monuments Sculptures Australia Greek Mythology
Neptune (Centre) Mod - Wikimedia Commons : Cultural Rubble (Bottom) Mod - Wikimedia Commons

Monuments and sculptures honouring Greek Mythology are located all over Australia.

It’s awesome to know that there are many impressive statues of the Greek Gods and Goddesses in Australia, with numerous sculptures dedicated to Greek mythology themes in every state of Australia.

This country is the largest island continent in the world so it’s no wonder there are signs of the Greek Gods in the land down under.

I have already mentioned in another post that Australia is the biggest Greek Island in the world. The monuments and sculptures shown here will help validate that statement.

If you want to be in the presence of monuments and sculptures honouring Greek mythology in Australia here’s where to go:

Sydney – New South Wales (NSW) Sculptures

Poseidon (Neptune) – The God of the sea sculpture is part of the Governor Phillip Fountain, which is located in Sydney.

Poseidon Sculpture Australia Fountain

The impressive fountain also has representations of Commerce (Nymph carrying the staff of Hermes), Agriculture (Goddess Demeter) and Mining (Cyclops – by name only).

Governor Phillip was the first governor of New South Wales from 1788-1792.

This was the most expensive sculpture produced in Australia in the 19th century (unveiled in 1897).

The impressive fountain is located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, close to Macquarie Street.

Governor Phillip Fountain Sydney Australia with Neptune

 
Apollo, Diana (Artemis), Theseus and the Minotaur – Form part of the Archibald Fountain, properly called the J. F. Archibald Memorial Fountain.

This fantastic fountain is located on the northern side of Hyde Park in central Sydney. It is one of Sydney’s most photographed sights.

Apollo Archibald Fountain Australia Greek Mythology

 
How times change!

Sculptures in Australia Apollo Fountain

 
This is the most notable fountain in Australia and it even pays tribute to the Greek hero Theseus, the slayer of the minotaur, as you can see behind the pool cleaner.

Theseus and the Minotaur Sculptures of Greek Mythology Sydney

 
At the other end of Hyde Park is the Pool of Reflection and the Anzac War Memorial. Just west of the fountain is a giant chess set.

Hyde Park was the city’s first public space and this is where Australia’s first recorded cricket matches were played back way back in 1804.

You may be thinking who or what is Archibald? Jules Francois Archibald (1856-1919) started the Bulletin magazine in Australia, similar to that of America’s Time magazine.

His name is now best associated with the yearly Archibald Prize for Portraiture, which was first established in 1920. It is considered a very prestigious Australian art prize even to this day.

J. F. Archibold bequeathed funds to have the fountain built. In the bequest he specified that it had to be designed by a French artist, both because of his great love of French culture and to commemorate the association of Australia and France in World War 1. It was unveiled in Sydney on 14 March 1932.

More pictures of the Apollo (Archibald) Fountain can be seen in another post: Greek Mythology Water Fountains in 15 Countries.

Athena – A bronze statue of Athena stands in Barrack Street in Sesquicentenary Square.

Athena Sculpture Sydney Australia

 
The Mayor of Athens gifted this statue to Australia for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The Goddess can be sighted outside a classy Greek restaurant called the ‘Athenian’.

Ada Nicodemou Beauty at the Logies
Ada – photo by Eva Rinaldi from Sydney Australia

Ada Nicodemou – Greek Goddess of Australian television, sculptured to perfection.

For those of you who don’t know, she’s also the Australian Greek Goddess from The Matrix movie.

Venus (Aphrodite) – She was at The Art Gallery of NSW (circa. 1927) as part of the Australia, the new Greece exhibition.

Venus – Venus Fountain in the Royal Botanic Gardens

Mercury (Hermes) – The University of Sydney

Satyr – The 1924 bronze sculpture of a Satyr (half human/half goat) is located at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens.

Hermes – The Art deco Bas-relief of Hermes is located at 10 Phillip Street, Sydney.

Hermes Mercury Sydney Phillip Street

Circe – A bronze sculpture is located at the Art Gallery of NSW.

This work is a statuette version of Bertram Mackennal’s ‘Circe’. It envisions the enchantress at the moment when she transformed the crew of Odysseus into swine.

Nike Statue AustraliaNike – This beautiful sculpture is located at 303 Marrickville Road, outside the Marrickville Town Hall.

The Greek Goddess of victory was unveiled outside the town hall in 1919 before a crowd of approximately 15,000. The sculpture was commissioned to represent a memorial to the 450 residents whose lives were lost in combat during World War 1.

At one stage the sculpture was relocated to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

In April 2015 a modern 4-metre (13 ft) bronze statute of Nike was unveiled, with the sword pointing downwards instead of upwards, after Zeus had been using the previous uplifted sword for lightning-bolt target practice.

Nike – This very unusual 25 tonne painted steel abstract sculpture was created to honour the steel industry. You can find it in Wollongong, however you won’t know that it’s Nike unless someone tells you.

Neptune Statue Newcastle Australia
Neptune (Poseidon)

Neptune – Resting on the roof of Neptune House (The old Fish Market) at 1 The Close, Riverside, Newcastle.

Nike – The Nike (Kougioumtzis) is an abstract sculpture that has been donated to every host city of the Olympics since 1996, so I’m assuming it’s hiding somewhere in Sydney.

Atlas – Has resided at the Tebbutt Observatory in Palmer Street, Windsor, which was named after John Tebbutt (1834-1916), the founder and builder of the Observatory.

He’s well respected for discovering two comets and for taking part in the worldwide observations of the Transit of Venus in 1874. The Australian astronomer was later honoured by the International Astronomical Union in 1973, long after his death, with a Luna crater named “The Tebbutt Crater”.

More famously, his portrait appeared on the back of Australian $100 bank note from 1984 to 1996. Sir Douglas Mawson, the famous Australian Antarctic explorer appeared on the front of the bank note.

John Tebbutt Atlas Australian Note

Atlas Sculpture Australia Greek Mythology
Atlas at the Tebbutt Observatory

 
The Atlas statue in the photo on the right was strategically positioned at the front of the Tebbutt’s Observatory, which says a lot. It can be seen in many different photos.

The Observatory can also be seen on the right side of John Tebbutt’s portrait on the one hundred dollar note. His picture on the hundred dollar note actually covers up Atlas, which is directly behind him, pretty much straight under where his last name appears in very tiny text.

Does this mean that the Australian Government or those in the know 100% back the Greek Gods?

Cupid (Eros) – Graces the central pond of the Pioneer Memorial Garden within the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Norman Lindsay Gallery – Located in Faulconbridge, New South Wales, in the famous Blue Mountains district. Have you ever seen the movie “Sirens” starring Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson? Some of the scenes were filmed here.

https://youtu.be/p92JzgBCk0E

 
For anyone that’s interested, yes, the Greek Gods definitely created beautiful women.

 
Monument of Lysicrates – This is a replica of the original monument made of marble and erected by Lysicrates on Tripodon Street in Athens in 334BC to commemorate a big win at an annual drama competition at the Dionysia.

You can see the replica monument of Lysicrates in the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens. The original ancient monument in Athens is seen on the right.

Monument of Lysicrates in Sydney Australia Monument of Lysicrates Athens Greece

Sir James Martin, three times Premier of New South Wales between 1863-1872 had the replica built for his own garden at Potts Point in 1870.

It was moved to Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden in 1943 which is relatively close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge as you can see. The monument also underwent restoration around 70 years later.

The frieze on the monument shows the Greek God of wine and theatre, Dionysus, fighting off pirates. The pirates who have angered the God turn into dolphins when thrown into the water just like the Greek myth.

Australian Goddess – Jennifer Hawkins, Miss Universe 2004

Prepare to be dazzled by the swimsuit Goddess walk.

 
The video below shows Jennifer being crowned Miss Universe, the Thunder from Down Under.

Zeus, God of Thunder, would definitely approve of the title.

Melbourne – Victoria Sculptures

Mercury (Hermes) – A 4m tall statue of Mercury was positioned at the top of the old Age Newspaper building in Collins Street in 1899.

Sculptures of Greek Mythology in Australia Mercury Statue Melbourne Hermes

 
The current home of Hermes (Mercury) is in The Melbourne Museum.

Chronos – Hangs around at the Royal Arcade in Melbourne, considered to be the first arcade in Australia. Chronos is the God of time in Greek mythology.

Apollo – Sculpture named Apollo. Located at Apollo Bay (Great Ocean Walk).

Apollo Belvedere, Diana bust, Hercules bust – Queen Victoria Gardens

Perseus – Moved to the Botanical Gardens and re-erected at the Robert Clark Centre.

Icarus – First located at Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne.

Icarus eventually moved to Langwarrin Gallery and Sculpture Park, probably because no one wanted to be reminded of what happened to Icarus before they boarded a plane flight.

I was lucky enough to see it at the airport and I have to admit I did make me think.

Never regret thy fall – O Icarus of the fearless flight – For the greatest tragedy of them all – Is never to feel the burning light.

~ Oscar Wilde ~

Sculpture honouring Apollo Diana Minotaur
Sun & the Moon

Apollo and Diana (Artemis) – The 2.5 to 3 metre high sculpture of “The Sun and the Moon” is made up of two figures facing each other. This savage looking surreal sculpture is full of symbols.

There’s Apollo, the sun, Diana, the moon, lightning and the minotaur. A few feet away from this picture is the moon Goddess. 

It can be seen on the corner of High and Glenferrie roads in Malvern, Melbourne.

Perseus, Atlas, Nike – Located on The University of Melbourne grounds. Nike is inside the ceremonial Wilson Hall.

Atlantes – Ended up being re-erected at The University of Melbourne car park entrance in 1972.

Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana – A humungous Buddha sculpture covered predominately in casts of classical Greco-Roman sculptures.

These sculptures include Farnese Hercules, Sartyr and Bacchante, Achilles, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcissus Lying, Othryades the Spartan Dying, and the Fall of Icarus.

Eternity Buddha in Nirvana Melbourne Sculpture

 
The Chinese artist, Xu Zhen, wanted to bring Eastern and Western cultural heritages together by combining a replica of a famous reclining Buddhist statue with that of predominately Greco-Roman sculptures.

At the end of the 18m long Buddha statue is a statue of Hercules.

Gallery location: Federation Court, Ground Level, NGV International (National Gallery of Victoria), Melbourne

Xu Zhen is also the artist of Eternity-Poseidon in De Haan, Belgium. It’s a delicious sculpture combining a Greek God with Peking Ducks. It makes me hungry when I look at it.

Cultural rubble – Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, Discus thrower and Greek pots are found on the side of a wall at the Ian Potter Museum of Art with fragments that spill out into Swanston Street, University of Melbourne.

You can see the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the feature image at the top.

Sculptures Greek influence Australia Cultural Rubble

 
Trial of Socrates – University of Melbourne

Poseidon – Can be found in the courtyard of the Elizabeth Murdoch building at the University of Melbourne.

It’s a copy of the Poseidon of Artemision housed in the National Archeological Museum in Athens. It was a gift for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

King Leonidas – King of Ancient Sparta.

King Leonidas Statue

Watch the movie 300 if you don’t know who he is. It’s located at Sparta Place, Brunswick. This sculpture also has a shield below the plaque.

Atlas – Located on a building in Collins Street, close to Queens Street. Used to be perched on top of the Atlas Insurance Building at 406 Collins Street.

Hebe – Hebe was the Goddess of eternal youth. She’s the daughter of Zeus and Hera, who married Heracles. You can see her in Fitzroy Gardens.

Hercules, Leda, Mercury (Hermes), Hebe – Located at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens (one hour drive outside of Melbourne).

Shrine of Remembrance – Victoria’s National War Memorial

The Shrine of Remembrance was built using a classical style based on the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus and the Parthenon in Athens.

The impressive monument was originally built to honour the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I. It is now used as a place of reflection for all armed conflicts.

Shrine of Remembrance Greek Mythology Monument Australia

The Shrine officially opened with a dedication ceremony in 1934. Over 300,000 people attended the ceremony, which was a huge crowd considering Melbourne’s population at the time was approximately 1 million.

Ceremony Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne Australia 1934

Greek Gods – Visit the Hellenic Museum in Melbourne to see if anyone is there.

Brisbane – Queensland Sculptures

Themis – Themis was the daughter of Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth).

Statue of Themis outside the Queensland Supreme Court

Historically she’s a Goddess of order and assemblies, which is a great reason for her to be part of The Law Courts Complex on George Street in Brisbane.

The imposing sculpture of the Greek Goddess of Justice stands outside the Supreme Court in Brisbane on the left-side of the courtyard.

Venue Rising sculpture Kangaroo Point Queensland
Brisbane City Council (Venus with lights)

Venus Rising – Kangaroo Point Park, Main Street. It looks like a giant s*x toy for the love Goddess.

Neptune (Poseidon) – Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa

Hippocrates – University of Queensland Medical School, Herston

Pegasus – Garden courtyard, Meriton Suites, Broadbeach

Neptune (Poseidon) – Can be seen at the Candyman’s luxury home overlooking a Gold Coast canal.  You can get a glimpse of Poseidon in this video clip. The notorious tobacco mogul has lived a playboy lifestyle in Australia.

 
For a better view of Poseidon at the same party watch the video below.

Adelaide – South Australia Sculptures

Amalthea and Jupiter’s (Zeus) goat – A copy of the sculpture by Pierre Julien from 1787, which is in the Louvre Museum. It’s found in a fabulous location at the Adelaide Botanical Gardens.

Greek Mythology Sculpture SA Amalthea Zeus goat

 
Hercules – The bronze Farness Hercules sculpture was unveiled in October 1892 in Victoria Square, which is Adelaide’s prime city square. It’s a copy of the Farnese Hercules excavated in Naples in the sixteenth century.

Farness Hercules Sculpture Adelaide Australia

 
It was eventually relocated on top of the pedestal in Pennington Gardens, Adelaide, due to a few complaints in the years from 1902 to 1930 regarding the shamefulness of its nakedness.

In 2000 the Lord Mayor of Adelaide wanted Hercules back at Victoria Square. This never happened though.

Hercules made another small move a bit later on in 2015 to accomodate Adelaide Oval redevelopments. It is now at the intersection of footpaths in a landscaped garden within Pennington Gardens close to the eastern side of Adelaide Oval.

Venus (Aphrodite) – In a prime position on North Terrace right in front of Government House. You can see Government House behind the wall.

Sculptures Australia Greek Mythology Venus

Venus has the honour of being Adelaide’s very first public street statue unveiled in 1892.

Neptune (Poseidon) – A large king Neptune statue once stood next to the Neptune Service Station at Darlington on South Road. Last seen in the area in 1989.

King Neptune Statue Darlington Adelaide

Poseidon moved around a bit and then appeared in a garden at Viva Energy’s Birkenhead Bitumen Centre on Wills Street in Birkenhead.

No one knows where Poseidon could end up next. This proves that the Greek Gods are rock solid.

Anteros – This is a cast of the famous Anteros figure which stands in the centre of London’s Piccadilly Circus.

Anteros sculpture Greek Mythology Australia

It is owned by the Art Gallery of South Australia and was at one time located in a prime position in the Elder Wing.

Anteros Eros Sculpture Adelaide
Source: Mark Pegrum – Flickr

Only a handful of Anteros castings were ever made in the entire world. How this rare Anteros ended up in Adelaide is anyones guess.

If you don’t know who Anteros is (no he isn’t Eros), you can find out a little bit about him in another post: EROS: Greek God of Love (Roman name: CUPID).

Pan fountain – You can find Pan playing his Pan pipes while water is flowing through them at this special fountain in Veale Gardens, right next to Adelaide’s South Terrace.

A beautiful time to visit is when the flowers are in full bloom.

Pan Fountain Adelaide Veale Gardens

Perth – Western Australia Sculptures

Neptune (Poseidon) – The ginormous King Neptune statue at Old Atlantis Water Park in Two Rocks was built in 1981, but the park closed in 1990 due to financial difficulties.

 
The abandoned Atlantis Marine Park is located 60 km (37 miles) north of Perth. It was part of Alan Bond’s Yanchep Sun City plan. The limestone statue of King Neptune holding onto his trident has since become heritage-listed.

It seems to get graffitied a lot for some reason. In 2015, the giant Neptune was restored to its former glory. It’s still a wasteland though best left alone.

Interesting Fact: Alan Bond’s Australia II syndicate won the 1983 America’s Cup in what was the first winning challenge to the New York Yacht Club. The Americans had successfully defended the cup for 132 years until they were defeated by the Australians.

You obviously have to thank Neptune for that sort of feat.

Atlas – At one stage Atlas was located on the roof of the Atlas Building, as you can see below.

Atlas sculpture on building Perth Australia

Made of terracotta, Atlas held up a giant globe made of steel. Atlas then moved inside the Museum of Perth, Atlas Building.

Themis – The Goddess of Justice from the ancient Greek world can be found outside the Police Barracks in James Street, Perth. The barracks have since been associated with Western Australia’s Art Gallery.

Socrates – Situated at The University of Western Australia, Nedlands.

Hobart – Tasmania Sculptures

Venus (Aphrodite) & Diana (Artemis) – Both Venus and Diana overlook everyone as they are high on a building ledge in George Street, Launceston. Launceston is the second biggest city in Tasmania after Hobart.

Neptune (Poseidon) – Guards the Mersey River in Davenport by standing on a very high tripod like structure.

Poseidon Sculpture Tasmania

Davenport is on the northern side of Tasmania, where the ferries come and go from mainland Australia.

On another note:

Amphitrite, the wife of Poseidon commemorates the opening of a submarine telephone communication cable from Apollo Bay in Victoria (mainland Australia) to the island of Tasmania in 1936.

At the time it was the longest submarine cable in the world. This honour went to a Greek Goddess.

Amphitrite Goddess queen of the sea wife of Poseidon

The 1936 blue version of the Amphitrite stamp went up in price by 50 percent.

These posts may also be of interest to you:

12 Best Destinations in Australia with Greek Mythology Names
Greek Mythology Water Fountains in 15 Countries (includes Australia)

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Monuments sculptures honoured in Australia Apollo Sydney