German Girl Shrine from the outside

Weather :

Timings : Monday to Friday - 7:00 AM - 6:59 AM (next day)
Saturday - 7:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Sunday - Open 24 hours

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

German Girl Shrine, Singapore Overview

The German Girl Shrine, also known as Berlin Heilingtum, is situated on the island of Pulau Ubin and is one of the most unconventional shrines in Singapore, dedicated to an unnamed German girl who is worshipped as a local deity. An altar is placed within a hardwood structure that was built in the place of a small yellow hut to honour her memory, where visitors pay tribute to the unnamed German girl by leaving behind an array of items like candles, fruits, perfumes, nail polish, and lipstick as offerings.

Inside the hut, there is a cross and a cased barbie doll placed at the altar. Though, numerous stories surround the origin of the German Girl Shrine, the most widely believed one is that during World War I an 18-year old German girl jumped to her death in a bid to run away from the British forces who were rounding up German families on the island. Locals and travellers pay their tribute to the memory of the young German girl whose body was found by the coffee plantation workers.

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Legend of German Girl Shrine

Legend has it that during the outbreak of World War I, the German girl, to whom the memorial is dedicated to, fell to a tragic death in an attempt to escape from the British who had rounded up their family's plantation on the island. A few days later, some Malay villagers found her decomposing body covered in ants, and decided to bury her on the hill. After the war ended, her family tried to look for her, but in vain. Subsequently, her body was exhumed by some islanders and cremated.

A temple was built on the site of her grave, to pay respects to the German girl. The temple was famous amongst gamblers because it is said that they were blessed with winning streaks after paying their respects to the German girl.

German Girl Shrine Singapore
Entry to the shrine (Source)

Inside the Shrine

The German Girl shrine used to be a bright yellow hut, built when a granite quarry took over the hill in 1972. Before this, it was a temporary tombstone erected by the Islanders. During this time, her remains were kept in a well-decorated, porcelain, Jiangsu urn inside a temporary Taoist Temple on the hill. The German girl had become a Taoist deity, referred affectionately to as "Na Du Gu Niang" or Lady Datuk by the local Chinese.

The cased doll inside, who is the symbolic idol of the shrine, was sent by a former resident of Pulau Ubin who is said to have dreamt of the deity for three consecutive days. Offerings of fruits, flowers, nail polishes, brushes, perfumes, cosmetics and lipsticks abound inside the shrine as offerings to the German girl. Today, the memorial has undergone several renovations and wears a beautiful wooden brown and white facade.

How to Reach German Girl Shrine

The German Girl shrine is located on the island of Pulau Ubin. The easiest way to get to Pulau Ubin is to take the MRT to Tanah Merah MRT Station (EW4). After you get down, Bus No. 2 to Changi Village bus interchange can be taken. Changi Point jetty is a few minutes' walk from the bus interchange. From the jetty, a bumboat ride costing SGD 2 per person one way can be taken to Ubin. The German girl shrine is located in the western part of the island. To get there, follow the signs along the Ketam bike trail.

Tips

  • Shoes need to be taken off before entering the shrine.
  • There is a scenic pond nearby. Do give it a visit when here.

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