Nepalese Peace Pavillion in Brisbane

 

The Nepalese Peace Pavilion was a huge hit during the World Exposition held in South Brisbane’s Southbank Parklands from April 30 to October 30, 1988. During that time, world attention was turned to Brisbane and Queensland. This event had from then on created a huge impact on the city’s economy, tourism and culture. Expo 88 was participated in by 36 nations, two international organizations, 14 state and regional governments, as well as 34 corporations. Their pavilions were mostly temporary and prefabricated. That is why the Nepalese Peace Pavilion and its pagoda became a main attraction for the 15, 760, 447 Expo 88 visitors. It helped that the Nepalese Pavilion was located near the Vulture Street entrance, but it was largely the masterful craftsmanship that can be seen in the woodcarvings of the three-storey timber pagoda that set it apart. One hundred and sixty craftsmen from the valley of Kathmandu made carvings of gods, goddesses and mythical animals on the outside the pagoda, and Nepalese writings and numbers found in the ground floor elevation.

 

nepalese peace pavillion in Brisbane

Inside, the walls had carvings of flowers and the ceilings showed scenes from the life of Buddha. Its roof was brass-clad with gold leaf details.

Their work was commissioned by the Association to Preserve Asian culture (APAC) and took two years to complete. The pagoda is a faithful imitation

of a Nepalese temple and is one of only three that can be found outside of Nepal. The two others are in Munich and Osaka. Since the pagoda is the only international exhibit that has remained in the site after Expo88, it has now become a reminder of the memories of the World Expo that Brisbane residents still cherish. They see Expo 88 as the main catalyst that spurred the growth of Brisbane and Queensland into a modern and international city.

It also opened the minds of the residents to a world perspective anchored in national pride.

When Expo 88 ended, 90,000 people made a petition to keep the Nepalese Peace Pagoda, preventing the original plan of APAC of selling it to Japan.

A “Save the Pagoda Campaign” was marshaled in 1989 which received financial contributions from the public, the Brisbane City Council and the Federal Government. The “Friends of the Pagoda” committee bought a brass statue of the goddess of compassion, a bronze bell and a stone lingam to add to the pagoda’s attractions.

The Nepalese Peace Pagoda transfer to the riverside location began in September 24, 1991. It presently remains a favorite place for meditation and relaxation by both residents and visitors of Brisbane.