East Melbourne lies just to the east of the Melbourne central business district. Its northern boundary is the wide boulevard of Victoria Parade and the suburbs of Fitzroy and Collingwood. Its eastern border is Hoddle Street and the suburb of Richmond.
East Melbourne is home to a number of government offices, including Victoria's State Government, housed at Parliament House in Spring Street, which was built in 1856. A number of specialist hospitals are based in East Melbourne, while the skyline is dominated by the historic St Patricks Cathedral which is regarded internationally as one of the finest ecclesiastical buildings in Australia. A small commercial centre is located along Wellington Parade, servicing local residents in the nearby exclusive and wide tree-lined residential streets.
Around half of the area covered by East Melbourne is actually devoted to parkland or sporting grounds. The attractive 26 hectare Fitzroy Gardens encompasses many attractions including Captain Cooks' Cottage, a conservatory, a miniature Tudor village, the Fairies Tree, and several fountains and rotundas. The Treasury Gardens, on the corner of Spring Street and Wellington Parade, are popular due to their proximity to Melbourne's CBD and their grassy and shady slopes. The famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), dating back to 1853, includes a huge stadium which hosts many football and cricket matches, including the AFL Football Grand Final, as well as having been the main arena for significant international sporting events including the 1956 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games.