The Queen Victoria Market
is a large public retail
market in Melbourne
's north-western central business district
. It was officially opened on the 20th of March 1878
, though other markets existed on the site before this. The market is divided into two sections, the upper
market and lower
The lower market, bound by Elizabeth, Queen, Victoria and Therry Streets, was the first site. It was built in 1857 as a fruit and vegetable market. Unfortunately the location was unpopular and many market gardeners refused to use it. It became a livestock and hay market until 1867, when it was permanently reserved as a seperate market venue. In 1878, with the official opening of the Market, it finally became a successful fruit and vegetable market.
The upper market, bound by Queen, Victoria, Peel and Franklin Streets, was originally not a market at all. It was used as a school, a drill hall and also as Melbourne's first cemetery. Nowadays the upper market sells retail goods, such as toys, clothes and computer software.
The Queen Victoria Market was originally both a retail and wholesale market, however allegations of corruption and racketeering led to the relocation of the wholesale market to Footscray in 1969. A move to redevelop the market into a trade centre, office and hotel complex in the 1970's was quashed by public outcry and resulted in the Market being classified by the National Trust.
Today the Market and it's buildings are listed on the Historic Buildings Register, preventing any further development on the site. The Queen Victoria Market stands as one of the largest and most intact examples of Melbourne's great 19th century markets.