King Leonidas Statue
This statue commemorates a special connection between ancient Greece and the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick.
This statue of King Leonidas was commissioned by the City of Brunswick to celebrate the Memorandum of Understanding between Sparta and Brunswick. The statue, which cost $30,000, has been the subject of local controversy as it made many residents question why a king of ancient Greece was being unveiled in the neighborhood.
There was a large influx of Greek people during the 1950s and 1960s, of which a large portion came from the Laconian region (including the capital Sparta). There is evidence of the cultural influence this had on Brunswick and visitors to the area can find many bakeries, cafes, and shops offering many Greek foods. These new settlers set up an organization called the Pallaconian Brotherhood to hold social events and preserve their heritage. The group still runs events to this day.
Leonidas was a king of Sparta who is still held in legendary status due to his strength and bravery in leading the Spartan army in the Battle of Thermopylae. This statue not only pays tribute to the heroics of Leonidas, but also symbolizes the friendship and connection between Greece and Australia. It was unveiled on November 29, 2009, after being erected by the Moreland City Council and the Pallaconian Brotherhood.
Know Before You Go
The statue sits at the end of Sparta Place. This unique small street has quirky shops, bars and cafes which are well worth checking out if in the area.
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