Located, as it is, on a glistening harbour and founded, as it was, by convicts, Sydney is a fairly hedonistic place with a populace so laid back as to be nearly comatose. However, there is one section of this city that is solemn and takes my breath with every step.
Martin Place acquired its status in the 1880s when our civic fathers built the third version of the colony's General Post Office (GPO). Sir James Martin had been the State Premier three times and then became the Chief Justice. At that point Martin Place only had the 'solemn' end, the section from Pitt to Castlereagh being called Moore St (named after Sir Charles Moore, the Lord Mayor) and the section from Castlereagh to Macquarie still occupied by offices and tenements.
The solemn bit came with the installation of the Cenotaph on Anzac Day 1927. The road became a pedestrian plaza in 1971.