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The city is home to many of the best-known cultural institutions in the nation, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.
Large banks and hotels faced the main streets, with fine townhouses in the east end of Collins Street, contrasting with tiny cottages down laneways within the blocks.
That year, the settlement's general post office officially opened with that name.
The British Colonial Office appointed five Aboriginal Protectors for the Aborigines of Victoria, in 1839, however their work was nullified by a land policy that favoured squatters who took possession of Aboriginal lands.
In 1888 the Exhibition Building hosted a second event, even larger than the first: the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition.
This spurred the construction of numerous hotels, including the 500-room Federal Hotel, The Palace Hotel in Bourke Street (both since demolished), and the doubling in size of the Grand (Windsor).
The discovery of gold in Victoria in mid-1851 sparked a gold rush, and Melbourne, the colony's major port, experienced rapid growth.