The Arts House Singapore

Weather :

Ideal time : 1 - 1.5 hours

Entry Fee : No Entry Fee

Timings : The Arts House: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Visitor Centre: Monday - Sunday: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Closed on Public Holidays

Old Parliament House, Singapore Overview

Old Parliament House was built in 1827 and is perhaps, the oldest building in Singapore. The structure was formerly used as the Parliament of Singapore from 1965 to 1999, and it is the earliest government building in Singapore. The Old Parliament House was designed in the Victorian Revivalism style of architecture as a Neo-Palladian mansion and as such, has magnificent arches and stunning corridors. The front porch and the Palladian style windows are strikingly beautiful as well. The building was gazetted as a National Monument in 1992. The Art House within the Old Parliament House was established in 2007, after extensive renovations. The building underwent many phases of restoration, preserving its original design and furnishings. Today, Art House hosts an array of art of photography exhibitions and serves as a multidisciplinary arts venue.

Visitors at the Old Parliament House can opt for a general tour of the area which is free. There are several historic chambers and information panels which outline the history of the building and its journey to being the seat of the Parliament. Sitting in the chair of Lee Kuan Yew, the then Prime Minister of Singapore, is a favourite activity among visitors. Tourists also have the option of viewing the numerous exhibitions that are held in the Art House. These displays are very unique and interesting, although visitors may have to pay an additional fee to attend them. The Old Parliament House is a must-visit for history buffs and anyone who is interested in the heritage of Singapore.

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Sightseeing at the Old Parliament House

This beautiful building has several information placards and panels on the first floor, which inform the visitor about its history and the important role it served as the seat of the Parliament. Visitors can also see some of the historically important chambers of Singapore here. Important political events like the merger with Malaya, self-governance and independence took place here and have been mentioned in the panels and displays. A very interesting activity that visitors can do is sit in the seat of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. A Tudor Rose gifted by the Palace of Westminster to the Singapore Parliament still sits on a wall of the Old Parliament House. The front of the building is adorned with stunning sculptures of the Asian Common Mynah Bird. There is also a bronze statue of an elephant in front of the building, which was a present from King Chulalongkorn of Siam (now known as Thailand) as a sign of gratitude after his stay at this historic building in 1871.

History of the Old Parliament House

Old Parliament Building has a very rich history. It is believed that Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore, had landed at the building’s river frontage, and as such, the building is located on one of Singapore’s most historic sites. Construction of the Old Parliament House started in 1826 and was completed within a year. Initially used as a courthouse, it went through some major modifications before it was used as the new site for the Legislative Assembly of Singapore in 1954. The building was finally named as the Parliament House and came to be used as such after Singapore attained independence in 1965 until 1999. In 2007, the Arts House was established within this building, serving as a multidisciplinary arts venue.

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