Singapore: Colonial District

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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Colonial District was an area I prioritized during my visit to Singapore. I have always been fascinated by European architecture and design. And this area depicts the British colonization of Singapore.

Refer to History of Singapore, the written history of Singapore dates back to the third century. Evidence suggest a significant trading settlement existed in Singapore during the 14th century. In the late 14th century, Kingdom of Singapura was under the rule of Parameswara until he was expelled by the Majapahit or the Siamese. It then came under the Malacca Sultanate and then the Johor Sultanate. Modern Singapore was founded in 1819, when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles negotiated a treaty whereby Johor allowed the British to found a trading port on the island.

I went there right away after Haji Lane. The Sun light was way too shiny than I expected and it was only 9 AM. Though, I felt so grateful it’s not raining. I took MRT from Bugis Station to City Hall and walked, again. Hahaha.. this was exactly the reason why I brought my Nike Roshe shoes instead of my loafer. I walked all the time.

St. Andrew’s Cathedral

20170423_095856I was about to join the mass but it was so crowded. Supposedly, I went to Christian church Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator (fiuh! what a name), but decided to pray in front of the cathedral instead. There was a Cathedral New Sanctuary by the building where people prayed or sit under the trees.

The cathedral is the third church to be built on this site and was consecrated by Bishop Cotton of Calcutta on January 25, 1862.

The Civilian War Memorial

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This is the landmark of its surroundings. I maybe walk-passed this memorial about three or four times. LOL. Even with Google Maps, I lost my direction sometimes.

The open plot east of Raffles City is home to four 70m-high white columns, nicknamed “the chopsticks”. But, actually the Civilian War Memorial, commemorating those who died during the Japanese occupation. Each column represents one of Singapore’s four main ethnic groups – the Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians – while beneath the structure are remains reinterred from unmarked wartime graves around the island. Rough Guides

Raffles Hotel

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Now this was the big deal. The legendary Raffles Hotel, a colonial-style luxury hotel in Singapore. I was so impressed. My God, this most inherently British of hotels was still normally operational. People said that in 1887, when the hotel first opened, it was the first building in Singapore with electric lights and fans.

Also in 1902, a little piece of Singaporean history was made at the hotel, according to a (probably apocryphal) tale, when the last tiger to be killed on the island was shot inside the building. How cool sad was that.

National Gallery Singapore

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The National Gallery Singapore is an art gallery located in the Downtown Core of Singapore. Opened on 24 November 2015, it oversees the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian art, consisting of over 8,000 artworks. National Gallery Singapore aims to provide an understanding and appreciation of art and culture through a variety of media, focusing on Singapore’s culture and heritage and its relationship with other Southeast Asian cultures, Asia and the world.

The gallery was situated across The Padang, a huge recreation ground or field used frequently for cricket and rugby matches. I was lucky there were no crowd when I arrived in front of this majestic building. I sit for a while on its stairs, enjoying the view of Singapore skyscrapers and several men playing cricket on the field. *wink

The Arts House at The Old Parliament

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The Arts House (formerly Old Parliament House) is a multi-disciplinary arts venue which plays host to art exhibitions and concerts. Built in 1827, the Old Parliament House is the oldest existing government building in Singapore. The building was home to the Parliament of Singapore from 1965 to 1999, when it moved to an adjacent new building.

Cute elephant.

Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall

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Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall originally built as the Town Hall in 1862, and now home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. I forgot to stopped by Raffles Landing Site, but taking selfie with “this Raffles” was enough for me. At least I got his picture. Hahaha..

Cavenagh Bridge

20170423_103453The elegant suspension struts of Cavenagh Bridge are one of the Colonial District’s irresistible draws. Named after Major General Orfeur Cavenagh, governor of the Straits Settlements from 1859 to 1867, the bridge was constructed in 1869 by Indian convict labourers using imported Glasgow steel.

There was this historical police sign: “The use of this bridge is prohibited to any vehicle of which the laden weight exceeds 3cwt and to all cattle and horses.”

Oh snap, I was just about to help my cattle crossing the bridge.

Along River Valley Road and Park

20170423_10321920170423_10352420170423_103631This was the place where I rest and had a view of Singapore river. Perfect to end my (half) day strolling Colonial District.

 

Special thanks to Google Maps app. Love you so much!

 

W

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