The historical structures of the Colonial District are what make it one of the most important and unique places in Singapore. These ancient structures have weathered the storm of Singapore's history and now stand to tell their story.
The oldest bridge in Singapore, the Cavenagh Bridge is named after Major General William Orfeur Cavenagh. The bridge is also the only suspension bridge in the island nation and was built in 1869. Today, this bridge is a celebrated piece of history and proves to be a great place for photographers to capture the beauty of the suspension bridge as well as the Colonial District.
Fort Canning Park is a place to immerse oneself in nature and art by walking the many trails and nature walks or taking part in the many activities such as the Shakespeare in the park, ballet, various festivals that take place here. It is also a famous location for several concerts. Fort Canning Park also holds a lot of history, one the fascinating one that draws in a lot of people being The Battle Box which is the World War 2 British Underground Command Centre located inside the Fort Canning Hill.
Padang has been a recreational ground as well as a part of Singapore's history for as long as anyone can remember. The ground has been retained and is often used by the Singapore Cricket Team. The Civilian War Memorial, on the other hand, is composed of four 70 metre high white columns that honour the victims of World War 2 and the unity of the Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasians (a pillar for each).
The St.Andrew's Cathedral is a majestic structure in the Colonial District. The cathedral is said to be the largest in Singapore and hence holds great importance. It was built in 1836 and has since then remained next to City Hall as the large imposing structure and has been given the utmost reverence.
Raffles Hotel in Singapore is considered a national monument and was built in 1987 in honour of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. The hotel has since then made a mark of its own in the nation, from tigers roaming in the lobby in the earlier days, to it being the birthplace of the famous Singapore Sling Cocktail. This hotel provides their guests with all that Singapore has to offer and more and has remained to be one of the jewels of Singapore.
When it comes to entertainment, the sprawl of cafes down at Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay and Boat Quay are the perfect places to enjoy the weather with a feast of your favourite foods or the local picks while sitting near the Singapore River. The Quays are also notoriously famous for their outlandish nightlife and the way they seem to light up the district and give it its own mystical aura. The Quays, as well as the nearby malls, provide ample opportunities for shopping enthusiasts to splurge on the latest and ever-changing trends. The 1904 built building/ hotel, Stamford House, which is an annexe of the Raffles Hotel, is also a great place to look out for various apparel and other brands.
The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall is not only one of the famous historical landmarks of Singapore, but the structure is also well known because it hosts the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and adds to the entertainment quotient of the Colonial District.
The Colonial District along with its neighbouring districts has played a most integral role in adding to Singapore's art and culture. The following buildings/streets highlight the contribution of this district to this important field.
Stamford Road is an important street in the Colonial District as it is this street in which the National Museum is situated. The museum has had an extremely colourful and vast history and now contains many important artefacts that are imperative to the current progress of Singapore. It is to this museum where several tourists and locals flock to learn the history of the wonderful land. In addition to this, Stamford Road is also home to the Capitol Building built in the 1930s which houses a famous theatre and cinema as well as the 1908 Vanguard House which is now the flagship store of the famous Methodist Publishing House.
The River Valley Road along with Stamford Road is a must visit for all the art buffs. The street is home to the MICA Building which adds a rainbow of colours to the Colonial District due to its brightly coloured window panes that attract the eye. The Ministry of Culture is also present further down the street, and its central atrium is home to some very prominent art galleries and exhibits.
When it comes to new age art and culture, Bras Basah Road is where all the action is. Housing some of the most sought out art colleges and galleries the road is a hub for art and culture. Some of the well-known artist's havens are on this street include the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore School of Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) along with their respective galleries and exhibits.
The Asian Civilisation Museum in the midst of the Colonial District is a stunning yet modest building that houses around 13000 artefacts of rare and unique value. The museum pays tribute to the diversity of Singapore as well as the various groups that helped Singapore become the modern fast-growing island nation it is today. It does so by portraying through its exhibits, the various cultures that were brought to Singapore which are now thriving in their own respect.
The Peranakan Museum in the district is a unique museum around ten minutes away from City Hall. The museum adds to the rich cultural history of Singapore that the Colonial District so aptly displays. The exhibits and galleries of the museum contain a variety of artefacts and new media that displays not only the Peranakan culture but also the struggles of the community as a minority in Singapore.
Raffles Place MRT Station
City Hall MRT Station
Stamford Road- Capitol Building Stop (3mins from City Hall) – Bus No. 131, 167.
North Bridge Road, City Hall Station Exit B (1 min from City Hall) – Bus No. NR1
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