Visit the different landmarks along the Singapore River, and discover the rich history each of them beholds.
Raffles Landing Site
Raffles landing site is situated near the Boat Quay. For many Singaporeans, this educates and reminds them of the Singapore of the olden days, and how Raffles first set foot on Singapore to change our destiny. Understanding our roots helps to unite our people.
This is the place where Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), an agent of the British East India Company, is believed to have set foot on Singapore soil in January 1819. Raffles hoped to establish Singapore as a British port that can compete with the other Dutch ports in the region. He wanted to make Singapore a free port and an ideal stopping route for traders along the shortest sea route between India and China.
We also highly recommend that you take a half-hour River Cruise on board a traditional bumboat to experience an intimate perspective of life along the Singapore River while enjoying a lively commentary on the history of the River.
Over the years, the Merlion symbol has become well-known through its wide use and has come to be identified with Singapore .
The Merlion has a lion head and a fish body resting on a crest of waves. The lion head symbolises the legend of the rediscovery of Singapura, as recorded in the "Malay Annals". In ancient times, Singapore was known as Temasek, a Javanese word for sea. In the 11th century A.D, Prince Sang Nila Utama of the Sri Vijaya Empire rediscovered the island. When the Prince first landed on Singapore's shores, he sighted a mystical beast which he later learnt was a lion. The Prince then decided to name the island "Singapura" which in Sanskrit means Lion (Singa) City (Pura). The fish tail of the Merlion symbolises the ancient city of Temasek and represents Singapore's humble beginnings as a fishing village.
The Merlion statue, measuring 8.6 metres high and weighing 70 tonnes, was built by the late Singapore craftsman, Mr Lim Nang Seng. It is made of cement fondue. A smaller Merlion statue, measuring two metres high and weighing three tonnes was also built by Mr Lim. The body is made of cement fondue, the skin from porcelain plates and eyes from small red teacups.
Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay is located on 6 hectares of prime waterfront land by Marina Bay. It is Singapore's leading cultural entertainment and performing arts centre and is designed to meet the needs of a full-scale musical play.
The Esplanade was first nicknamed The Papayas but later a new nickname The Durian stuck on and since then it has been fondly referred to as The Durian because of the prominent spiky sunshade curtain adorning the two glass domes of the complex. The Esplanade is a new generation of arts centre in Singapore.