Bicentennial Special Tours - Part 1: FROM SUMATRAN KINGS TO STAMFORD RAFFLES
Price S$75 / ticket
Singapore’s multi-faceted history reaches back over 700 years. The arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles on behalf of the British East India Company (EIC) in 1819 marked a turning point that set the island on a new trajectory, and launched it onto the global stage.
Our journey first leads to Fort Canning Hill — an extensive and fascinating repository of Singapore’s unique history. The seat of power for centuries, it’s been instrumental in the island’s management and defences as reflected in its many names. Thirteenth-century Sumatran kings chose this hill overlooking a bustling river port as the site for their palaces, and the area demanded such exclusivity that it was known as Forbidden Hill. The legends of the Sejarah Melayu (the Malay Annals) charmed Stamford Raffles, who built his residence here to enjoy the beautiful views and cooler breezes. He also set up our first botanic gardens on Fort Canning to experiment with different plants and we can still see its legacy in the Spice Garden that thrives in today’s Singapore Botanic Gardens on Cluny Road.
Together we’ll explore both its pre-colonial and colonial history, plus its military heritage as both a fort and later a bunker HQ. We’ll also wander among the tombstones of the former Christian cemetery to hear the stories of our early pioneers.
This tour ends at the Fort Canning Centre to see - and experience- the newly opened multi media Bicentennial exhibition there.
Please note that details of the tour will be emailed to all those registered 2 or 3 days in advance.