simplebooklet thumbnail

of 0


About St Andrew's Cathedral


St Andrew's cathedral is Singapore’s largest cathedral is built in the Neo-Gothic style of architecture. Completed in 1861 and declared a National Monument in 1973, St Andrew’s Cathedral is dedicated to the patron saint of Scotland, Saint Andrew, in honour of the Scots who funded it. The stained glass windows in the apse are dedicated to Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles; its second British Resident, John Crawfurd; and Straits Settlements Governor, Major-General William Butterworth. You can also find tablets commemorating victims of the 1915 Sepoy Mutiny in Singapore. Another really interesting fact is that the church was built by Hindu prisoners from India and the land was leased to the church by prominent Muslim trader, Syed Omar Aljunied. The land on which the cathedral stands was allocated by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1822 for the siting of an Anglican church, however, construction did not begin until funds were raised by the community in 1834.

St Andrew's Cathedral




The existing cathedral was designed in a Neo-Gothic architectural style, and was finished with Madras chunam. The architect is said to have drawn inspiration for aspects of the design from Netley Abbey, a ruined thirteenth century church in HampshireEngland. The piers of the nave of Saint Andrew's closely resemble the surviving piers at Netley.



The main focus of the temple is Mariamman but also houses several other deities. Another important element of the temple is the free-standing flagpole. A few days before major festivals or ritual ceremonies, a flag is raised here.


Architecture of the temple


The temple gopuram or tower, located at the main entrance of Sri Mariamman Temple, is built in Dravidian style with bright colours depicting gods, animals and other embellishments. Gopurams in this type of architecture have a unique style - each successive or higher tier is shorter in length than the preceding tier, giving the tower an illusion of added height. This style continues inside the temple, which has a number of shrines and halls dedicated to various gods and goddesses. All these traits make Sri Mariamman the prime place in Singapore for a glimpse of trademark Dravidian temple art.







About Sri Mariamman Temple


The Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, was founded in 1827 by Naraina Pillai. Pillai was a government clerk from Penang who arrived in Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles on his second visit to the island in May 1819.  He rapidly established himself in business and was identified as a leader of the Indian community. He built a simple temple made of wood and attap and installed Sinna Amman, a small representation of the goddess Mariamman, in the temple. Mariamman is a rural South Indian mother goddess who is especially worshipped for protection against diseases. 

Sri Mariamman Temple


About the Temple


Also known as the Temple of Heavenly Happiness, this is the oldest and most important Taoist Hokkien temple dedicated to Ma Zu, the Goddess of the Sea, to pray for protection. Built between 1839 and 1842, Thian Hock Kheng Temple was declared a national monument in 1973, and has gone through a number of renovations, helping it win some awards.





Architecture of the temple


Thian Hock Keng Temple was built with a grand total of zero nails. Guess the builders really nail-ed it in the building process. Even without any iron, the temple is still an architectural masterpiece of amazing carvings, intricate sculptures and imposing columns. It is built on a square site and is of traditional Chinese design whereby a group of buildings or pavilions cluster around the main courtyard. It has the standard layout of three halls commonly found in such temple, with an entrance hall, a main hall, and a rear hall. The temple is constructed in the temple architecture style commonly found in Fujian. The main halls are of single-storey beam-frame structures with brackets supporting curving roofs with wide eaves. 

Thian Hock Keng Temple


How The Temple Started


The temple was originally built as a joss house. Starting in 1839, the temple was rebuilt with funds collected over the years and donations from the community. The building materials of the temple and a statue of Mazu was brought over from China, with the statue enshrined in the main hall of the temple in 1840. Some of the building materials, such as stone for the columns, timber as well as tiles were recycled from ballasts in ships. The local Indian community of Chulia Street also helped build the temple, and a statue of a man who appears to be an Indian holding a beam up at the ceiling was placed in the right wing as a reminder and gesture for their contribution. The temple was completed in 1842 at a cost of 30,000 Spanish dollars.




Religious Buildings