Singapore Heritage Trail: Knowing Singapore Better

Singapore has a very interesting history. If one is interested to have a glimpse of it, you can do it right at the city center. In downtown Singapore, there is this so-called Central Business District Heritage Trail. This is the area near the Bras Basah Road on to Fort Canning Hill.

In the Heritage Trail area, you can find the Singapore National Museum, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, the Singapore Arts Museum and the CHIJMES. 

The National Museum of Singapore is the oldest museum in the city-state dating back to 1849. It relocated to various sites until it settled in its present site at Stamford Road. The museum has precious artefacts collection and it hosts exhibits of globally famous works of art.

The National Museum of Singapore stately building.

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Singapore. It is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Singapore with an architecture reminiscent of two famous London churches namely St Paul's, Covent Garden, and St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd prior to its renovation.

The altar of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd prior to its renovation.

Inside the cathedral, you can also find the relics of Saint Laurent Imbert who was a Paris Foreign Mission bishop and a missionary in Korea during the Choseon era. He was martyred for his work in spreading the faith.  

Relics of Saint Laurent Imbert.

Across the back of the cathedral, one can find CHIJMES. One will wonder that this religious-looking edifice is not really a sacred place but an entertainment area. It was formerly a convent of French Catholic nuns named as Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ). It also housed a school and at the center was a chapel in gothic architecture. In November 1983, the place was deconsecrated to give way to its present development.

Facade of CHIJMES

Another edifice within the area is the Singapore Art Museum. The building housing it was the site of Saint Joseph's Institution, a famous school in Singapore. The museum is the first fully dedicated contemporary visual arts museum in Singapore having extensive collection of works of art by local, Southeast Asian, and East Asian artists.

Singapore Art Museum

One way to enjoy Singapore more is to know its colorful history.  The Heritage Trail can in no doubt help you well towards this goal.