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Ararat, to the east, is the commercial centre of a prosperous wine growing and farming region. A former gold mining town, Ararat is home to many historical buildings including an impressive bluestone Post Office, Town Hall, Civic Square and War Memorial. The notorious J Ward which housed the criminally insane for over 100 years is a grim relic of the past, and open to the public. Ararat's picturesque Alexandra Gardens are renowned for their orchid glasshouses.