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Modified 23-Feb-24
Created 19-Nov-09
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Melbourne is the capital and largest city in the State of Victoria and the city with the second largest population in Australia (greater metropolitan area 3.9 million). The settlement was established in 1835 by free settlers around the estuary of the Yarra River and declared a city by Great Britain’s Queen Victoria in 1847. The city was transformed into a wealthy metropolis when gold was discovered in the area in the 1850s and by the 1880s had become one of the richest in Australia. Melbourne is an acclaimed centre for arts, commerce, education, industry, tourism and sport. It is noted for its arresting blend of Victorian and modern architecture, spacious parks and vibrant multi-cultural lifestyle, home to 233 nationalities speaking over 180 languages. The metropolitan area has good beaches although its moderate oceanic climate is notoriously changeable. Since 2002, it has consistently ranked in The Economist’s top three 'World's Most Livable Cities'.