Cockington Green Gardens

Open 7 Days 9:30am - 5pm

Last Entry: 4:15pm

(02) 6230 2273
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International Display

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Cockington Green’s international display was established in the late 1990’s. This followed consideration of better utilisation of the land which previously was home to the small lake around which the miniature steam-train circled. There were many months of work involved in firstly draining the lake and then creating access to the new international display area underneath the miniature steam-train line.

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The process for developing the international display commenced with letters being written to all High Commissions and Embassies in Canberra. Those who responded where engaged in detailed discussions to negotiate which building would best represent their country, a time-frame within which to construct, and last, but not least, from where the funding for the display would come.

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Many of the early buildings in the International Display were supported via an Australian Government regional tourism funding initiative designed to assist in the development of the nation’s tourism infrastructure.

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Displays were established either with the full funding support provided by Governments of represented countries or in conjunction with their local communities and, in some cases, by the local communities themselves.

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Once the building selection and funding issues had been addressed, construction of the buildings started. The area around each building’s location was landscaped catering to its display needs, and to replicate as closely as possible and practical the landscape within which the original building was set.

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Upon building completion, Cockington Green often held inauguration ceremonies with the display host country where many of their dignitaries and people from their communities were invited to celebrate this special occasion.

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The early days of establishment of the international display gained momentum through wonderful relationships with people such as former Colombian Embassy Chargé d’affaires, Marylu Nicholls and her associates along with Mala Maree, a former official of the South African High Commission.

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There was also the infectious vibrancy of the former Slovak Ambassador, Dr. Anna Tureničová and the incredible enthusiasm of Indonesian Education and Cultural Attaché, Dr. Aria Djalil who made possible the historical Borobodur Temple display. This building was fully crafted in Indonesia and shipped to Canberra for display. Models from Lithuania and the Philippines have also been constructed off-site and shipped in for display.

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We continue to work closely with Embassies, High Commissions, community groups and governments from around the world to this day on expansion of the display, often having visiting people of note from these wonderful countries walking around the display admiring other country's buildings as well as their own.

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Cockington Green’s international display was established in the late 1990’s. This followed consideration of better utilisation of the land which previously was home to the small lake around which the miniature steam-train circled. There were many months of work involved in firstly draining the lake and then creating access to the new international display area underneath the miniature steam-train line.  

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International Display

LITHUANIA - THE TRAKAI CASTLE

Location:  Trakai (27km west of Vilnius)

Sponsored by:  Canberra Lithuanian scouts “Baltijos Tuntas”, Veterans’ Group “Zidinys” with assistance from the Canberra Lithuanian community.

Model Construction by:  Mindaugas Mauragis

Scale: 1:50

Construction Time:  Unknown

Display History:

Situated on Galvé Lake, construction of the Island Castle began in the second half of the 14th century by Grand Duke Kęstusis and was concluded in the early 15th century by his son, Vytautus. Built as a fortress, the Island Castle was never conquered by raiders and thus its purpose was achieved. 

Notwithstanding, as with many historical sites throughout the centuries, the structure has been subject to considerable damage and decay over the course of its existence. Following the defeat of the Teutonic Order at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, the Island Castle became the residence of the Grand Duke Vytautus the Great. Trakai Castle lost its military and residential functions by the 16th century and was seldomly visited by the Grand Dukes from that time. 

Serving as a prison and then suffering damaged during the 17th century wars with Muscovy, the decay of the Castle escalated, and it gradually fell into disrepair. Romanticism ideas in the early 19th century saw the commencement of the Island Castle’s resurrection. In 1905, Imperial Russian Authorities attempted reconstruction as did the Germans during the First World War. Major reconstruction, repair and conservation took place following World War II returning a 15th century style to Trakai Castle. 

The Canberra Lithuanian Scouts (Baltijos Tuntas), the Veterans’ Group (Zidynis) with assistance from the Canberra Lithuanian community have sponsored the display at Cockington Green Gardens.

Did you know:

Lithuanian Independence:  Restored 11th March 1990

Trakai Island Castle Building Style:  Gothic with Romanesque features

Vytautus the Great:  Died in the Trakai Island Castle in 1430

No. of Islands on Lake Galvé:  21

MAURITIUS - CHATEAU LE REDUIT

Location:  Réduit, Moca 

Sponsored by:  Government of Mauritius (Website)

With funding assistance from Aus-Industry Australian Tourism Development Program

Model Construction by:  Cockington Green Gardens

Inaugurated by:  The Honourable DR Arvin Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Republic of Mauritius

Scale:  1:25

Construction Time:  2000 hours

Display History:

Château Le Réduit or The State House is today the official residence of the President of Mauritius after originally being constructed in 1748-49 by the Governor of the Isle de France, Pierre Félix Barthelemy David as a fortress from which to defend attackers. This was at a time of rivalry between the French and the English for colonial possessions in the Indian Ocean. 

From around 1764, Château Le Réduit served as the residence of Governors of Mauritius, both French and British. The property was subject to many modifications from 1764 to 1778. White-ant damage after this time left the Château in ruins and subsequently requiring significant restoration. The British took control of the island in 1810 and further modifications and repairs to the building were undertaken from that time as well as significant attention given to the grounds by leading botanists. 

In 1921, Governor Sir Hesketh Bell who had taken an interest in the gardens of Le Réduit had a memorial established in the grounds to Pierre Félix Barthelemy David. The memorial is named Le Temple de l’Amour with a marble inscription of the floor of the memorial which reads, “TO M. BARTHELEMY DAVID / Gouverneur de I’Isle de France 1746 / the creator of Le Réduit / his Grateful Successors.” 

An open day once a year provides the public with access to the Château and gardens, a day which includes a garden show and recreational and cultural activities. The display at Cockington Green Gardens is sponsored by the Government of Mauritius and was inaugurated by Dr. Arvin Boolell, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade for the Republic of Mauritius.

Did you know:

Mauritius Independence:  12th March 1968

Capital of Mauritius:  Port Louis (150,00 people)

Mauritius first known as:  Dina Arobi (by Arab sailors, circa 975AD)

Total area of country:  2,040km2

MEXICO - TENOCHTITLAN AZTEC TEMPLE

Location:  Mexico City

Sponsored by:  Embassy of Mexico

Model Construction by:  Cockington Green with the assistance of Mrs Gabriela Steger & Mrs Dominique Tarud

Scale: 1:100

Construction Time:

Display History:

Founded on 20 June 1325, Tenochtitlan was a city-state in what is now the centre of Mexico City. It was the spiritual and physical heart and capital of the expanding Aztec empire until it was captured by the Spanish in 1521. 

The most important buildings of Tenochtitlan were situated in the centre of the city, the headquarters and residence of the ruling group. The ceremonial precinct was in a quadrangle measuring more than 300 metres in length. The enormous pyramid of Templo Mayor, the main temple of Tenochtitlan, that served as the base for the twin temples of Tláloc and Huitzilopochtli was outstanding in size. It had a double stairway flanked on either side by low sold balustrades. 

Tláloc was the God of Rain and Huitzilopochtli was not only the God of War and Sun, but the patron of Tenochtitlan and God of the Aztecs. The Aztec history was one of integration and rejection until they finally found an omen which indicated where they should settle indefinitely, that omen being an eagle devouring a serpent on top of a cactus. It was in that spot that they founded their capital, Mexico-Tenochtitlan in 1325 A.D. 

The ruins of Tenochtitlan are part of the World Heritage Listing of the historic centre of Mexico City with Templo Mayor being destroyed by the Spanish conquerors after 1521 to make way for a new cathedral.

Did you know:

World Heritage Listing:  1985 (Mexico City Centre including ruins of Tenochtitlan

Mexico City:  6th largest city in the world (21 million people)

Population of Tenochtitlan:  Approx. 200,000 to 300,000 at the time of Spanish arrival (1519)

Area of Tenochitlan:  13.5km2 (combined with Tlatelolco)


NETHERLANDS - BINNENKRUIER’ WINDMILL

Location:  Noord Holland Province

Model Construction by:  Mr Peter Spronsen

Scale: 1:10

Construction Time:  Unknown

Display History:

Pepper and salt, bread and butter, tea and coffee, gin and tonic, Kath and Kim, Holland and Windmills – some things immediately come to mind when thinking about items that go together. 

With over 1,000 windmills to be found in the Holland region today, the windmill is unquestionably the one thing that would cross the minds of most when thinking about this fascinating part of the Netherlands, a country with so much history and tradition. The low-lying lands of Holland region made it necessary to find a way to ensure that water could be removed from the lowlands and back into the rivers and dikes to allow land to be farmed. 

The Binnenkruier Windmill was a variation on the standard windmill in that the sails can be turned into the wind with a mechanism. One such windmill is the Mill De Twiskemolen (Twisk-mill) in the principality of Landsmeer in North Holland. Windmills are becoming more difficult to operate in areas of increased development because the height of surrounding buildings reduces the ability of some windmills to catch the wind. 

Once a year on the second Saturday of May, Holland conducts National Mill Day when around 600 windmill and watermills open their doors to visitors.

Did you know:

Area of Holland Region:  5,488km2

Holland's Highest Point:  Approx. 55 metres (180 ft above sea level)

Population of Netherlands:  17.1 million

Population of Holland:  6.5 million




NEW ZEALAND - TREATY HOUSE

Location:  Waitangi, Bay of Islands

Sponsored by:  Mrs Fran James
With funding assistance from Aus-Industry Australian Tourism Development Grant

Model Construction by:  Cockington Green Gardens

Scale:  1:18

Construction Time:  1250 hours

Display History:

The Georgian-style Treaty House has a rich and controversial history even preceding its construction in 1833-34 for the British Resident in New Zealand, James Busby. The original design of the property by John Verge was considered too extravagant by the New South Wales Governor and subsequently was halved in size following the intervention of colonial architect, Ambrose Hallen. 

Just ahead of the 1934 centenary celebrations handing over the house to the nation by then Governor-General, Lord Bledisloe, major renovations and additions were made to the building. This saw what is now known as Treaty House increase around eight times in size from the original building occupied by James Busby in 1834. This might have been some atonement by architects William Gummer and William Page for Hallen’s earlier scaling down of the building. 

The grounds of Treaty House in its various forms bear witness to the signing of two of New Zealand’s most significant documents, the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand in 1835 and the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. The Treaty of Waitangi, the founding bi-cultural document of New Zealand, was signed by northern Maori Chiefs and Captain William Hobson, representing Queen Victoria of Great Britain. 

The display at Cockington Green Gardens is sponsored by long-time supporter of the attraction and New Zealand national, Mrs. Fran James long with funding support through the Australian Government’s regional tourism program.

Did you know:

Waitangi Day:  6th February

Treaty House Heritage:  Category 1 Listing on NZ Heritage List - 23 June 1983

Population of New Zealand:  4.8 million

New Zealand's Largest City:  Auckland (1.56 million)