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Having largely shaped the art-based landscape of the country, the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall is nestled in the heart of Singapore, and is one the most coveted jewels of the City. Dubbed as the 'grand old dame' of Singapore’s performing arts scene, the theater and concert hall is made up of two elaborate buildings and a glorious clock tower. Built in 1862, this elegant structure has received many facelifts. Having braved the ravages of time, it stands today as an invigorating canvas bathed in the finer nuances of Neoclassical style. Designated a national monument in the February of 1992, this ornate building retains its colonial architectural heritage while offering state-of-the-art facilities for concerts and theater performances. Said to be one of the oldest performing art venues of the country, this pristine white building sits amid rolling green lawns, in striking contrast with its surrounding contemporary edifices. The building is crowned by a gleaming turquoise dome, and also houses the sophisticated Sinfonia Ristorante which serves up delectable Italian fare amid finely-crafted interiors.
Believed to be home of the early Malay rulers during the 13th Century, the alleged tomb of Sultan Iskandar Shah is said to be rested in this historic park. Higher above in the Fort Canning Park is Singapore's first Christian cemetery, established in 1822 by Sir Stamford Raffles. Look out for Raffles' sundial, which marks where Singapore's first Government House once stood. The house was demolished in 1857 when the British Army used the hill as a fort. Some early 20th Century constructions have been restored and transformed into a performing arts center, recreation centers and a museum exhibiting a World War II underground bunker.
A place enlivened by vivid sights, sounds and smells, the Lau Pa Sat market lies cradled amid the urbane cacophony of downtown Singapore. Also known as Telok Ayer Market, this distinctive octagonal-shaped structure was built in 1894 out of cast iron from Glasgow. It was designed by Municipal Engineer James MacRitchie, and served as the only market in the city then. A national monument of Singapore, the historical structure was leased to Scotts Holdings, which commercialized the area into a maze of souvenir stalls and food outlets as it can be seen today. An array of food stalls serving delectable local cuisine are peppered across the market which is complete with a glorious clock tower, sharp arches, elegant Victorian columns and intricate filigree artistry. A striking amalgam of history, architecture and traditional cuisine, this market is one of the most treasured possessions of Singapore.
Looking at the remarkable series of 112 pre-war homes and shop houses here, it is hard to imagine that this was all once a nutmeg plantation. Hike up Emerald Hill Road to appreciate these exquisitely crafted buildings, built between 1902 and 1930 in an architectural style known as the Chinese baroque. Typified by floral tiles, carved swing doors, shuttered windows and pastel walls, these houses portray a unique blend of Chinese and Malay architectural styles. At the foot of the hill housing several fine bars and pubs today is Peranakan Place, a reconstruction of some 1903 vintage terrace houses demolished in 1984.
Kranji War Memorial is the final resting place for thousands of Allied soldiers who perished in Southeast Asia during the second World War. Rows upon rows of graves blanket the hill, some identified only as "known unto God." Above the Kranji War Cemetery is the memorial that records the names of more than 20,000 of these soldiers who died in the line of duty. The first two presidents of the Republic, Yusof bin Ishak and Dr Benjamin Henry Sheares, are also laid to rest here.