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Gold in Victoria

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Photo: Poster displaying information about Bendigo (copyright: D Nutting)

An information display for visitors to Bendigo, in the Hargreaves Mall.

Photo: Robert Getzschmann
Robert Getzschmann
Bendigo architects:
Many German immigrant architects worked in Bendigo in the 19th century, e.g. Mauermann, Nicolai, Bosselmann and Lehmann, but the two biggest names are Wilhelm C. Vahland and Robert Getzschmann, who had a considerable effect on the appearance of Bendigo. Vahland was trained as an architect at the Technische Hochschule at Holzminden on the River Weser, not far from his hometown of Nienburg, also on the Weser. Vahland came from a family of builders. At 27, not long after completing his studies, he emigrated to Australia, arriving in Melbourne in September 1854 on the San Francisco. He went to Bendigo but had no luck finding gold. For a while he built gold-washing cradles for the alluvial diggers, and then started his architectural career which lasted nearly 50 years. Getzschmann had arrived in Victoria in 1849 and moved to Bendigo in 1857. The partnership of Vahland and Getzschmann designed many churches, banks, schools, hotels, theatres and private homes in Bendigo, and also designed buildings in a wide surrounding area, reaching up into southern NSW.
Photo: Wilhelm Vahland
Wilhelm Vahland


(Photo © D. Nutting) Shamrock Hotel
  (Photo © D. Nutting) Goldmines Hotel

The Goldmines Hotel, Bendigo 1872, above right, was designed by Vahland. The present Shamrock Hotel, above left, was designed in 1892 by Phillip Kennedy, who trained with Vahland and worked for six years in his office in Bendigo. The second hotel built on the site of today's Shamrock (1860), also named The Shamrock, was designed by Vahland and Getzschmann.

Vahland Room
The name of a meeting room in the Shamrock honours Vahland

(Source: Cusack, Frank (editor). 1998. Bendigo - the German Chapter. The German Heritage Society, Bendigo. Thankyou to the Society for further information.)

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