Man O’ War Steps, circa 1918

Man O' War Steps, Sydney

Man O’ War Steps, Sydney

When we visit the Opera House today, chances are we are there to soak up the culture and atmosphere of this astounding building. With its gleaming white ‘sails’ and world renowned concert experiences, it is an attraction in and of itself. Yet it is a relatively recent addition to Bennalong Point and the site has a fascinating history prior to the Opera House being built. Man O’ War Steps, pictured in this postcard image (the postcard was posted in 1918) are on the Eastern side of Bennalong Point behind the Sydney Opera House, and were built as a landing point for the Australian Navy, serving for 150 years as the place where navy men left the city to see active service. Those who survived, returned to the city by the same place. This postcard, which carry’s the message “My dear Kid, one x is my house, what do you go on it, this is where we are at present, the other x is where we came ashore. Love to all, Willie” may well have been sent by one of these servicemen. Yet war is not the only tragedy which is echoed in Man O’ War Steps.

Come back next week to learn about the tragic role of Man O’ War Steps in one of the greatest maritime disasters to take place on Sydney Harbour.

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