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Melbourne, the capital of the Australian state of Victoria, is picturesquely located along the coastline of Port Phillip Bay and along the Yarra River. Founded in 1835 by free settlers from the modern-day Tasmania, in the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, Melbourne entered a lengthy boom period that, by the late 1880s, had transformed it into one of the world's largest and wealthiest metropolises. Today, Melbourne is home to many of Australia's best-known landmarks, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. It is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian football, and the Australian film and television industries. More recently, it has been recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature and a global center for street art, live music and theatre. It hosts major annual international events such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup. Due to its highly rated entertainment, tourism and sporting events, as well as education, health care, research and development, Melbourne consistently ranked as the world's most liveable city for much of the 2010s.

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