National Museum of Singapore, Singapore

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93 Stamford Road +65 6332 5642

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    by GIPA
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    NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE

    by GIPA Written Jul 4, 2015

    if you are reading it before August 2015 you will be able to enjoy the exhibition 'SINGAPURA 700 YEARS"
    The museum by itself is a must to see with its wide ambients and the dome of stained glass that tops the entrance.
    The exposition was divided in 6 parts:
    -Archaeology of Singapore
    -Ancient Singapore
    -Colonial Singapore
    -Syonan-To
    -Road to Merdeka
    -independent Singapore

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    Singapura: 700 years Exhibition

    by Chinggis_n_Borte Updated May 6, 2015

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    We took the train to Bras Basah MRT station on the Circle Line, and visited the National Museum of Singapore.

    We love history, so when we saw that the National Museum had an exhibition called Singapore: 700 years, we decided to pay a visit. The Exhibition is on until August 2015, and it costs $6 Singaporean to enter.

    There are information and displays discussing archaeological discoveries. There is a display about Ancient Singapore, Colonial Singapore, Singapore under Japanese occupation in World War Two, and the road to independence.

    A third century Chinese account describes Singapore as "Pu-luo-chung", or the "island at the end of a peninsula".

    Later, the city became known as Temasek ("Sea Town"), when the first settlements were established from AD 1298-1299.

    During the 14th century, the island was given a new name. According to legend, a Prince from Palembang (which was the capital of Srivijaya) named Sang Nila Utama, was out on a hunting trip when he saw an animal he had never seen before. Believing it to be a good omen, he founded a city where he saw the mysterious animal and named the city "Singapura", which means “The Lion City” from the Sanskrit words “simha” (lion) and “pura” (city).

    There are no actual records of any lions in Singapore, so it is uncertain if this sighting really was a lion, or if it is all a myth, but the name "Singapore" has stuck.

    The symbol of the city is the "Merlion" - a half fish half lion. A statue of the Merlion is at the mouth of the Singapore River, spouting water through its mouth.

    The city of Singapura was then ruled by the five kings of ancient Singapura.

    The city flourished as a trading post for vessels from many countries, including Chinese junks, Arab dhows, Portuguese battleships, and Buginese schooners.

    Many traders settled in Singapore. Singapore is an interesting blend of peoples and cultures, histories and languages. Malaysian, Mandarin Chinese (though there are many dialects spoken including southern Chinese dialects), Tamil and English are national languages of Singapore. Though the majority of the population is ethnic Chinese, financial institutions use English as the lingua franca. Signs on trains are found in all four languages, and there are religious venues for Hindus, Muslims of various ethnic backgrounds (Indians, Malay, Indonesian etc), Buddhists, Christians of various denominations, Tamils, Sikhs. And there are restaurants offering not only the regional and national cuisines of the main ethnic groups, but also many other varieties such as Korean, French, Japanese and Italian.

    Modern Singapore was founded in the 19th century.

    During this time, the British Empire wanted a port in the region so it could base its merchant fleet there, and to stop the Dutch (who were already in the area, in Indonesia) from further advancing.

    A man by the name of Raffles, who was then the Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen (now Bengkulu) in Sumatra, landed in Singapore on 29 January 1819. He helped negotiate a treaty with the local rulers and established Singapore as a trading station. The city quickly grew as a trade hub, attracting immigrants from China, India, the Malay Archipelago and beyond. Singapore came under British rule.

    In 1822, Raffles implemented the Raffles Town Plan, to address the issue of growing disorderliness in the colony. Ethnic residential areas were segregated into four areas. The European Town had residents made up of European traders, Eurasians and rich Asians, while the ethnic Chinese were located in present-day Chinatown and south-east of the Singapore River. Ethnic Indians resided at Chulia Kampong north of Chinatown, and Kampong Glam consisted of Muslims, ethnic Malays and Arabs who had migrated to Singapore. Singapore continued to develop as a trading post, with the establishment of several key banks, commercial associations and Chambers of Commerce.

    Something we discovered in the museum's exhibition was that many Indian convicts were deported or sent to Singapore, much like many English and Irish convicts were transported to penal colonies of Van Diemen's Land (modern day Tasmania) and New South Wales.

    Singapore was invaded by the Japanese on 8 December 1941. Despite their superior numbers, the Allied forces surrendered to the Japanese on Chinese New Year, 15 February 1942. It was the largest surrender of British-led forces in history. A large percentage of the British forces were ethnic Indians, and many Indians lost their lives trying to defend Singapore. The island, was renamed Syonan-to which means “Light of the South Island” in Japanese.

    When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the island was handed over to the British Military Administration, which remained in power until the dissolution of the Straits Settlement comprising Penang, Melaka and Singapore. In April 1946, Singapore became a British Crown Colony.

    In 1959, the growth of nationalism led to self-government, and the country’s first general election. Lee Kuan Yew (who died recently) became the first prime minister of Singapore.

    In 1963, Malaysia was formed, comprising of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo (now Sabah). However, less than two years later on 9 August 1965, Singapore left Malaysia to become an independent and sovereign democratic nation.

    National Museum exhibition and explanations rickshaw Indian contribution to Singapore Japanese Propaganda Poster
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    Nice museum, shame about the cloakroom

    by SallyM Updated Aug 15, 2014

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    The National Museum is housed in a colonial building with a modern extension to the rear.

    The Singapore History Gallery is entered via a circular structure in the glass extension.. You are given a free audio guide on entry and go down a long circular ramp, exactly like the vehicle ramp in a multi-storey a car park. Inside is a darkened space where you can choose to follow either the ‘people path’ or the ‘events path’. Unfortunately this exhibition is heavily reliant on the use of personal audio guides to explain the exhibits. My audio guide malfunctioned, so I didn't get as much from it as I might have done. The space is also quite dark and difficult to navigate around. If you are with someone else, it is easy to lose them.

    I found the galleries on the second floor more interesting. I particularly enjoyed the Food Gallery, which is about street food, explaining the history of particular dishes such as satay and laksa, with videos showing how they are prepared. Another room contains jars of spices which you can smell. The Photography Gallery is about history through family photos. The Film and Wayang Gallery has lots of movie posters and puppets. The Fashion Gallery has examples of different clothing designs, including an Andy Warhol inspired Campbell's Soup dress and examples of the different fabrics.

    There is not a proper cloakroom facility at the Museum, only unattended coin-operated lockers. This would be OK if they worked reliably. We found that several of them didn’t work, and we had to find a Security officer and ask for assistance.

    Entry is $10, but there is a 20% discount with a Singapore Airlines boarding pass.

    National Museum of Singapore Spice Jars in the Food Gallery Film Posters National Museum of Singapore
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    INSIDE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE

    by balhannah Written Nov 20, 2011

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    We have looked at the outside of the Museum, the travelling Exhibition, and now it's time to see the rest of the Museum that is on permanent display.

    Probably my favorite, was the costumes that Opera singer's and Film star's wore. These were something to see, as was the old Puppet Theatre. It was so beautiful! and so were the Puppet's, so different to the ones of today.
    I did like seeing the old photograph's, there wasn't much else that appealed to me.

    Check out the website for permanent and special exhibition's.

    It is free, so it didn't matter so much that I wasn't altogether impressed with the whole lot!

    Opear wear Puppet house Old photo of Singaporean's Puppet's
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    TRAVELLING EXHIBITION'S & NATIONAL MUSEUM

    by balhannah Written Nov 20, 2011

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    When on holiday's, it always pays to check out the Information centre, just incase there is an interesting exhibition or perhaps an Opera, or musical, a sporting event, anything that you may wish to see.

    I found out, that the National Museum had on display for a limited time...........

    the "Treasures of Vacheron Constantin," - a Legacy of Watchmaking since 1755.

    I read the brochure, and we went for a look, it didn't cost a cent!
    There were many different watches on display from all era's, some of them were extremely beautiful. No expense was spared on the making of these watches. Many were bedecked with Rubie's, Emerald's and Diamond's. A lot of the Stop Watches were hand painted, some were porcelain watches.

    I was so glad we were able to see this exhibition.
    They even did FREE GUIDED TOURS!

    Exhibition's are changing all the time.

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    NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE

    by balhannah Written Nov 20, 2011

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    First of all, if you are not into Museum's, still do come here for a look, as the garden has many quirky sculpture's, and the colonial building is well worth seeing from the outside.
    During colonial days, it was known as "Raffles' Library and Museum," - Singapore's first museum and library. Back then, it was mainly natural history and ethnography.

    The oldest part of the Museum is the front block, where Raffle's Library & Museum was located in 1887.

    There is a sad story about the building of the magnificent Dome. Two Chinese construction worker's had the job of building the Dome. Unfortunately, the Dome proved so daunting that it drove the first contractor to madness.

    Well, the Museum grew and grew, with a new parallel rear block being added in 1907.
    It became known as the Singapore History Museum, dedicated to the presentation of Singapore’s history and heritage in 1993, and in 2003, was renovated, and a glass Rotunda was added.
    It re-opened in 2006 as the National Museum of Singapore and is Singapore's oldest museum.

    OPEN.....10 - 6pm DAILY

    ADMISSION IS FREE

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    Singapore History Museum

    by imstress Updated Oct 17, 2007

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    The Singapore History Museum is located at Riverside Point near Clarke Quay. It presents Singapore's history through stories of people who lived along the Singapore River.

    Admission is $2 and free admission is on Fri from 7pm to 9pm.

    *closed (moved to National Museum of Singapore)

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    National Museum of Singapore

    by imstress Updated Oct 17, 2007

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    National Museum of Singapore is located need the Dhoy Ghaut MRT at Stamford Road. It presents the history of Singapore from the 14th century to the present. The exhibition galleries are divided into History Gallery and Living Galleries.

    History Gallery presents selected pieces of collection from 14th century to present. It is presented using a story telling approach where personal testimonials and videos are exhibited.

    The Living Galleries are made up of Fashion, Film, Food and Photography.

    Admission charges are at $10 for adults. You may admit for free to the Living Galleries after 6pm to 9pm.

    National Museum of Singapore National Museum of Singapore - History Gallery National Museum of Singapore National Museum of Singapore National Museum of Singapore
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    Singapore History Museum

    by trisanna Updated Jul 20, 2007

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    The Singapore History was recently renovated and reopened to the public the beginning of 2007. Inside this colonial building, there are vast relics of Singapore's pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial past. You can easily spend a day visiting the museum. There are a few galleries on singapore's pop culture, music, fashion and film, etc. Then there is the winding dome (where you get a free audio/video guide) that gives you lots of information on the item you are seeing. It's a little disneyesque, but you get a great idea of the history of Singapore. I thought the pre WWII, WWII and Singapore's struggle for independence were done quite well.

    There is a decent cafe on the first floor as well as a fine dining restaurant, called Novus. Nice gift shop!

    the grand dome at the Singapore History Museum
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    National Museum: Nice Little Museum

    by bustero Written Jun 13, 2007

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    Since it was my kids second time to visit Singapore , we figured we would do something a little bit different by going to the History Museum. It's an old colonial structure right accross the Singapore Management University and has some very cool features. Basically 2 parts, the main centerpiece exhibit tells the story of singapore in two tracks...literally. YOu choose one track which is based on the lives of common people and how events and situtions were during their time and the more traditional story of how singapore was founded by Raffles and Uncle Lee etc. This has an included personal electronic tour device with headset (free) so you can go at your own pace. The walkthrough is probably about an hour without rushing it or reading everything. The second part is four rooms focusing on a variety of cultural life: textile, film, food and cant'remember the other one. When we were there there was a travelling exhibit also included (actually free) from the Arab world. All in all a worthwhile way to spend half a day in the city. It's not expensive at all prob around 5 sing per person.

    The girls cheesing up for a photo.
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    National Museum: Nice Little Museum

    by bustero Written Jun 13, 2007

    Since it was my kids second time to visit Singapore , we figured we would do something a little bit different by going to the History Museum. It's an old colonial structure right accross the Singapore Management University and has some very cool features. Basically 2 parts, the main centerpiece exhibit tells the story of singapore in two tracks...literally. YOu choose one track which is based on the lives of common people and how events and situtions were during their time and the more traditional story of how singapore was founded by Raffles and Uncle Lee etc. This has an included personal electronic tour device with headset (free) so you can go at your own pace. The walkthrough is probably about an hour without rushing it or reading everything. The second part is four rooms focusing on a variety of cultural life: textile, film, food and cant'remember the other one. When we were there there was a travelling exhibit also included (actually free) from the Arab world. All in all a worthwhile way to spend half a day in the city. It's not expensive at all prob around 5 sing per person.

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    National Museum of Singapore

    by zuyao Updated Mar 19, 2007

    Great museum to visit. It's just been renovated and reopened to the public. If you are driving, park at Fort Canning park behind the museum. It's free on Sundays.

    The museum is divided into 2 sections - Singapore History Gallery and Singapore Living Galleries.

    The Singapore Living Galleries feature life in Singapore - food, customs, fashion, entertainment etc. It provides a glimpse of how the life and culture of Singaporeans were in the old days.

    The Singapore History Gallery is the best part. You'll be provided a portable companion device which will guide you through the entire gallery. The gallery walks you through the history of Singapore from pre-historic time through colonial, war & independence. A very insightful tour and the experience is great.

    Opening Hours: 10 am - 6pm Daily (History Gallery)/ 10am - 9pm Daily (Living Galleries)
    To roam around the compound without entering any of the galleries is free. An admission fee of $10 for adult is charged for entering the galleries.

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    Singapore National Museum

    by Jim_Eliason Written Feb 18, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This recently re-opened Museum gives a great overview of Singapore History and every day life in Singapore. The museum is very engaging and Singapore history is laid out in a very interactive way with a good balance between story boards and artifacts.

    Singapore National Museum Singapore National Museum
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    Reopened National Museum of Singapore

    by SLLiew Written Dec 18, 2006

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    This is the latest new tourist destination as the National Museum has completed renovation and reopen this December 6. Admission is $10 for adult but got a complimentary opening ticket using my e-Museum card.

    There is a Living Gallery and History Galleries. Very informative exhibits as each visitor is given an audio headphone and you press the number at each location or picture. There is an event perspective option and an individual perspective option and so makes it a bit complicated initially.

    There is also a visiting exhibit of Austrian Empress Therese.

    Highly recommended in this historic building with modern creativity.

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    new National Museum of Singapore

    by Skylink Updated Dec 7, 2006

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    The museum is not officially opened. It will be opened later in 2006. However, one exhibit has already opened. I think they want to delay the grand opening until more of the museum is ready. It is at the east end of Orchard Road, next to the YMCA and very near MRT Dhoby Ghaut. It is a nice looking building.

    From September 30 to October 17, 2006, there was a Cartier exhibit that did not charge admission. It has now closed and replaced with another exhibition. See what's on exhibit when you are in Singapore.

    EDIT: The museum has opened. As I write this, it's the first opening day (Dec 7th, 2006)! Too bad that I am not there!

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