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19 Facts About Sydney Opera House That'll Make You Go "Huh"

Google Cultural Institute reveals Australia's icon as you've never seen it before.

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This is Sydney Opera House. It's one of the most instantly recognisable buildings on Earth.

Chris McGrath / Getty Images

(The Opera House and Google Cultural Institute just launched a collection of more than 1,000 digital artefacts, including a Google Cardboard 360° tour)

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3. Utzon’s design almost didn’t make the cut: it was pulled out of the judges' reject pile by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen when he spotted Utzon's sketch for the monumental steps.

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7. Long before the site – named after Eora man Woollarawarre Bennelong – was chosen for the Opera House, it had been a tidal island that was a special gathering place for the Gadigal people for thousands of years.

Natural History Museum, UK

Painting of a Gadigal man in Port Jackson, circa 1788–97, artist unknown.

9. Kisses funded some of the Opera House: singer Joan Hammond sold smooches for £50 during the public fundraising, and kisses were sold at fundraising parties across Sydney.

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