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02 February 2015

Singapura: 700 Years

Currently on display at the National Museum of Singapore is the exhibit, Singapura: 700 Years, which we visited recently.  The main galleries at the National Museum are currently closed for a revamp and scheduled to reopen in September 2015.  I have visited several times and always enjoyed walking through the previous galleries so I'm sure when they reopen it will be well worth another visit.




In the meantime though Singapura: 700 Years aims to take you through the various stages of  700 years of Singapore's history.  Before you enter the exhibition you firstly get a chance to read about some of the archaeological digs that have taken place in various parts of Singapore over the years.  Included within this are, of course, some of the items that have been dug up.  Of most interest to me, purely because I don't live that far away from it, was the dig of Fort Tanjong Katong, which stood from 1879 to 1901 in Katong park.  I'd heard about it before but it was interesting to read a little more.

Once you enter the exhibition it is broken into five sections; Ancient Singapore (1300 - 1818) the time when Singapore was known variously as Temasek and Singapura amongst others, Colonial Singapore (1819 - 1942) the time period seeing the arrival of the British and the rise of Singapore as a regional trading hub, Syonan-To (1942 - 1945) when Singapore came under the rule of Japan, Road to Merdeka (1946 - 1965) post-war Singapore, a time of rebuilding and revolution and Independent Singapore (1965 - 1975) the first ten years of nation building following independence.  I won't spoil it too much for you here but all the sections are packed full with information and there are plenty of interactive activities to keep everybody entertained.

Whilst, if you've read anything of Singapore's history or visited the exhibits currently under renovation at the museum I'm not sure you'll learn anything hugely new from this it's still worth a visit, especially as Singapore celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence this year.  I enjoyed the section about the archaeological digs that have taken place here over the years the most, as it was something I wasn't really aware of.  Personally I'd also have liked to have seen something post 1975 showing a little more perhaps of just how far Singapore has come since then and maybe what the future will bring, nonetheless though it was an interesting morning.


Singapura: 700 Years is on now until 10 August 2015.

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