The site of Canberra was settled by Europeans in 1824, and in 1908, the sparsely populated area was chosen to be the capital of Australia. The American architect, Walter Burley Griffin, won an international competition for the design of the new city. Construction began in 1913, but was interrupted by World War I (1914-1918). Only in 1927, was the national parliament moved here from Melbourne, which had been its temporary seat since 1901. Canberra´s population grew rapidly following World War II (1939-1945). Population (1996) 322,723.
Canberra, city, southeastern Australia, the capital of the country, in the Australian Capital Territory. Canberra is a modern, rapidly expanding city located on the Molonglo River (a tributary of the Murrumbidgee River) in a predominantly agricultural region. It is built around the artificially-created Lake Burley Griffin and is the economic center for the nearby communities of Woden-Weston Creek, Belconnen, and Queanbeyan. The government is the chief employer in Canberra, but tourism and light-manufacturing industries are growing
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