Sydney Hospital

Historic Building

in City Centre & Haymarket

Originally the Rum Hospital, built by two Sydney merchants in return for a monopoly on the rum trade, Australia’s oldest hospital has a grand Victorian sandstone facade and a chequered history. You can’t wander around inside, but the central courtyard with its kitsch enamelled fountain studded with submissive swans is open to the public. The Gothic, weathered-looking Nightingale Wing (1869) was the site of Australia’s first Nightingale School of Nursing.

In provocative recline out the front of the hospital is the pig-ugly bronze statue Il Porcellino (1968), a copy of a Florentine statue of a boar. Rubbing its snout is said to bring good luck.