Raffles Statue

singapore’s Iconic Raffles Statue

The Symbol of Singapore’s Founding

The Raffles statue, located at the Singapore River, is a significant landmark in the city-state. The statue portrays Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore, standing with his arms folded and gazing out to sea. This iconic image has become a favorite spot for both tourists and locals to take photographs.

The statue is situated at the historic Raffles Landing Site, where Raffles is believed to have set foot on the island in 1819. It serves as a reminder of the city-state’s humble beginnings and the pivotal role Raffles played in its development.

The current statue is a replica of the original dark bronze statue. It was erected in 1972 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Singapore’s founding. The statue itself is made of white polymarble, giving it a distinctive appearance against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline.

A Stroll to See the Original Statue

If you’re interested in seeing the older, original statue, you can take a short stroll to the Victoria Memorial Hall at Empress Place. The original statue, sculpted by esteemed English sculptor and poet Thomas Woolner, was unveiled on Jubilee Day on 27 June 1887.

The original statue holds historical significance and provides a glimpse into Singapore’s past. Its relocation to Empress Place allowed for the preservation of this important artifact.

Singapore’s Iron Man

The Nickname and Relocation

The Raffles Statue has garnered a few interesting anecdotes over the years. Upon its unveiling, it was affectionately nicknamed “orang besi,” which means “iron man” in Malay. This nickname reflects the statue’s stoic and enduring presence in Singapore’s history.

In 1919, the statue was relocated from its original location at the Padang. The decision to move it was prompted by the frequent collisions with flying footballs during games. Additionally, spectators enjoyed sitting at its base for a better view of the matches, causing wear and tear on the statue.

A Journey Through History

During the Japanese Occupation, the statue was moved to the Syonan Museum (now the National Museum of Singapore). There were rumors that the Japanese intended to melt it down for its valuable bronze. Fortunately, the statue survived and was reinstated at Empress Place in 1946 after the war ended.

Today, the Raffles Statue has become an iconic symbol of Singapore. The white version of the statue is particularly popular on various souvenirs, showcasing its significance and cultural importance. It serves as a reminder of Singapore’s resilience and determination in overcoming challenges and achieving progress.

In conclusion, the Raffles Statue is a prominent landmark that holds immense historical and cultural value in Singapore. As a replica of the original statue, it stands as a symbol of the city-state’s founding and the role Sir Stamford Raffles played in shaping its destiny. Whether you visit the statue at the Singapore River or take a stroll to see the original at Empress Place, you will be immersed in Singapore’s rich history and heritage. The stories behind the statue, from its nickname to its relocation, provide a deeper understanding of the statue’s significance and its journey throughout the years.

Address And Location:

Raffles Landing Site
59 Boat Quay, Singapore 049859

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  • Raffles Landing Site
    59 Boat Quay, Singapore 049859

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