Ballarat's heritage always on display

This month, The Courier are looking back on the city's heritage in the lead up Ballarat Heritage Weekend - held on Mother's Day weekend, May 10 and 11.

This week we've dug out a few of our favourite before-and-after-shots of some of Ballarat's best-known buildings.

These shots date to the late 1800s.

Click the image above to launch a slide show of the images.

Heritage Weekend offers a huge program of free entertainment, activities, performances, markets, tours and other heritage experiences. Designed each year to showcase different elements of our shared heritage and the rich historic assets of Ballarat.

See some of the events and activities on offer below:

Steam Train Rides

When: 9.30am, 11am, 1pm, 2.15pm and 3.45pm both days

Where: Ballarat Railway Station, Lydiard Street North

Wheelchair access: Yes

Cost: Adult: $20, Under 16: $10, Family: $50

Bookings: Tickets available at the Ballarat Railway Station and on the train on the day.

Enjoy a ride on Ballarat's own 1889 vintage steam locomotive Y112 and a 1940s K class run by SteamRail Victoria.

FedUni Tweed Ride

When: Saturday 2.00pm, to ride at 2.30pm.

Where: St Patrick's Hall, Corner Sturt & Dawson Streets

Wheelchair Access: No

Cost: Free.

Description: Bring your bike and dress in vintage gear for a fun social ride through the beautiful Ballarat streets. All bikes and riders welcome. Organised by Federation University Australia. Click here to register.

Double decker bus tours

When: Every 20 minutes (except 2pm and 2.30pm) both days

Where: Departs from the Mining Exchange, 8 Lydiard Street North

Wheelchair access: No

Cost: Free

Jump on board a double decker bus and enjoy the sites of Ballarat from the top deck. Along the way, learn stories of the people that influenced Ballarat's rich history and heritage. Limited seats available. Visit the Ballarat Mining Exchange during the weekend to book a seat.

Brass Beats

When: Both Days

Where: The George (Balcony)

Cost: Free

Pound the pavement to the beats of Ballarat's Brass Bands. The City of Ballarat Brass Band and the Ballarat Memorial Concert Band will keep your toes tapping from up above you on The George balcony throughout the weekend.