Fort Canning Park, Singapore

January 31st, 2010 12 Commented

Here is Fort Canning, a small hill about 60 meters high, found in the Central Area of Singapore. It is a place rich in history, full of luscious greenery and sort of a hidden gem because not many locals and foreigners explore the premises fully. However, one area of the park is now used for outdoor events such as concerts and screenings.

Regarding the history of the place, it can be divided into two main parts where, it dates back to 14th century and 19th century. Fort canning was the the Royal Palace of a Malay ruler in in the 14th century. The palace itself was probably built in early 14th century but it was destroyed in 1396. The hill itself was not entered until 1819, where Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore. The hill was known as Bukit Larangan or the “Forbidden Hill” then. The Malay locals back then were fearful of going up the hill as they thought it was the sacred place where their ancestors had built their palaces.

The local legend was validated when ruins of ancient brick buildings were found after Sir Stamford Raffles had part of the hill cleared of jungle. Raffles built his bungalow on the hill after seeing the beautiful view that hill commanded. He also established the first botanical garden here in 1822 as he was a keen botanist. From then until the mid-19th century, Singapore’s governors were residents resided in that premises. Thus, the hill was subsequently known as the Government Hill.

Fort canning park can be entered by several areas, for example it can be entered from somewhere near the National Archives (in between the Archives and Registry of Marriages) or the National Museum of Singapore. For us, we took the route from the National Archives.

There is a long flight of stairs up to the park.

Once we reached the top of the stairs, we were on the 14th Century park trail. Thus, there were many signboards along the way telling the history of Singapore regarding the Malay Empire in the 14th century. As we headed left, we saw several pavilions on the the way where you can stop for a rest.

Walking on, you can see we are surrounded by the vast amount of luscious greenery. There was a couple in front of us taking a stroll in the park

There after we passed by the Picnic terrace where, there are several benches for you to have your picnic.

The area is terraced in a way where you can look down to the city area. As we walked along the path, we saw many long flights of stairs down to the bottom which would lead you to the city center.

We saw this interesting tree on the way…

More greenery…

The Raffles Terrace, a residential bungalow built by Sir Stamford Raffles.

There after we did a round about and walked along the 19th Century path instead.

Here is one of the pair of cannons that is able to shoot 9 pound cannon balls. However, it was not used as a defense weapon but as a decorative item. It was fired three times a day in the past to announce the hour.

A bench amid the greenery.

As we walked further on, we reached The Legends. It is club where it can meet your health and wellness, business, entertainment, family and recreation needs.

The front of The Legends. There is huge lawn just in front of the buildings where it holds events such as concerts and screenings.

Lining the sides of the Lawn are the tomb stone tablets which are set into the wall. The lawn used to be a Christian cemetery site. But all the graves have been removed, except for a few.

There are two mini Capolas at the opposite side of the Lawn.

Some of the Tombstones in one small corner of the Lawn.

Another interesting tombstone.

This is the only group of “standing” tombstones that i saw in the area.

Thereafter, we exited the hill from where tombstones were. Just right in front of the exit is the National Museum of Singapore. And we were greeted by this big capsicum sculpture just right in front of the office. I always thought it was an apple until I had a closer look that day and realized that its a capsicum!

This is the end of my Fort canning entry! But I have only introduced part of park as there are still many interesting areas in the park not covered in my entry. I didn’t manage to pictures of the Spice trails, Gothic gates and etc…

I hope one day you’ll be able to visit the Fort Canning Park and experience it! yourself!

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12 responses to “Fort Canning Park, Singapore”

  1. Lylibellule says:

    I would love to finish this visit by myself one day. It would be marvelous.
    While waiting for it, each of your posts made me discover things i wouldn’t get interested into otherwise.

    This park is really magnificent. To do a pick-nick an afternoon would be very pleasant.

    Amusing this pepper sculpture! Very well done!

    • softz says:

      Actually, I only visited the park three times. All three times weren’t a complete tour.

      My first time was during my first date with my wife (back then not girlfriend) on Valentine’s Day. We went to watch a movie screening in the park, “The Casablanca”, watching and picnic’ing.

      My second visit was when one of my ex-classmate got married (the Registrar of Marriage is nearby).

      And this was my third time. Probably I should finish the visit one day, hopefully.

  2. rockleelotus says:

    beautiful park full of greens, i love the scenery ^^ looks like a good date spot lol that huge canon looks awesome, every fort needs some armory. i hope they were careful in the past firing off those 3 shot to tell the hour, and wonder if the went to salvage the canon balls after wards XD

    very interesting to see a giant capsicum sculpture there, why a capsicum? lol

  3. chubbybots says:

    Hmm just curious are you a history teacher haha??

    Wonderful little tour man, sharing the gems of our tiny country ^^. Its indeed a very nice place for a little evening stroll with your love one :D

  4. Katsura-chan says:

    Oh wow it’s beautiful !!!!!
    I hope i’ll get the chance to visit Singapore one, it sounds to be a magic place.
    Thanks for showing us this marvel !

  5. Tier says:

    That’s pretty cool, it’s kinda amazing to me that you can put something like that in a confined place like Singapore. Where I live, it’s a 39 mile drive from my home to my workplace, and it basically looks like the same suburban sprawl the whole way. I miss living in a city sometimes.

  6. heathorn says:

    Ahh, I remember this place, it’s been like 6 or 7 years ago. When I was visiting my bro here, he took me to this place. I remember the cannon.

    Where in the central of Singapore is this place located? I want to go and take a look more ^^

    • softz says:

      It’s walkable from National Museum of Singapore (just behind it) or alternatively, you can walk from City Hall, it’s behind Funan Center, a road leads up to Fort Canning Park.

  7. Jerry says:

    i love this called the fort canning things. i hope that this will remember those people who went to the fort canning park.

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