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A penal settlement was founded in 1824 at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres (17 mi) north of the central business district, but was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825, opening to free settlement in 1842.

The city was marred by the Australian frontier wars between 18, and development was partly set back by the Great Fire of Brisbane, and the Great Brisbane Flood.

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Mac Arthur had previously rejected use of the University of Queensland complex as his headquarters, as the distinctive bends in the river at St Lucia could have aided enemy bombers.Also used as a headquarters by the American troops during World War II was the T & G Building.Sir Thomas Brisbane visited the settlement and travelled 28 miles up the Brisbane River in December 1824, bestowing upon Brisbane the distinction of being the only Australian capital city set foot upon by its namesake.German missionaries settled at Zions Hill, Nundah as early as 1837, five years before Brisbane was officially declared a free settlement.In 2016, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Brisbane as a Beta world city.

The Moreton Bay area was initially explored by Matthew Flinders.

He formed additional outstations and made several important journeys of exploration.

He is also infamous for his extreme use of the Cat o' nine tails on convicts.

This article is about the metropolitan area of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

For the local government area, see City of Brisbane.

Today, Brisbane is well known for its distinct Queenslander architecture which forms much of the city's built heritage.