Ranked 172 among Places to Visit in Singapore
Time Required: 1 - 2 hours
Istana is the official residence and the office of the President of Singapore. It is also where formal state events are hosted and foreign dignitaries are received, as well as the working office of the Prime Minister of Singapore. Since the Istana is only open to the public on select holidays like the Chinese New Year, the Istana Heritage Gallery was built to give the public access to the rich history of the Istana on all days.
Initially, the Istana used to a part of a nutmeg plantation, before it was procured by the British and built as the residence of the colonial governor of Singapore, which was called the Government House. It is a Palladian style mansion and was designated as a National Monument in 1992. The exhibition at the Istana Heritage Gallery is very distinctive. Not only does it exhibit the various magnificent state gifts received by the Presidents and Prime Ministers of Singapore from foreign dignitaries on official visits, but it also traces the development of Singapore from a British colony to an independent nation. The exhibits showcase the history of the Istana and its grounds, displaying its journey from being the house of the colonial governor to the Official Residence of the President. The Istana's special role in the ceremonial, constitutional and community duties of the President are also beautifully highlighted in the Istana Heritage Gallery.
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