The City Hall Building is an important heritage site in Singapore with a rich history, and one of the national monuments of the country.
It once served as the government office, witnessing many milestones in Singapore’s past, especially during the colonial times and the Japanese occupation.
Old City Hall, Former Building History, National Gallery Hours, Singapore
Before the completion of the Municipal Building, the council held office in the Town Hall and other nearby areas. The Municipal Building was designed with a Neoclassical style, similar to many of the other buildings along Singapore’s coast at the time.
One of the most significant times of the building’s history was the Second World War. Many locals sought shelter from the Japanese attacks at the Municipal Building, and it eventually became the headquarters of the forces following the surrender of Singapore to the Japanese in 1942. Following this, many other important historical events took place in this location during the Japanese occupation.
Finally, during Singapore’s independence in 1951, the Municipal Building was renamed City Hall. Lee Kuan Yew was sworn into office here as the first Prime Minister of Singapore, together with his cabinet members.
The City Hall Building has since been renamed as the National Gallery Singapore, together with its neighbour, the Former Supreme Court. It stands in a prominent location across the Padang in the heart of the Civic District. The building’s current design combines Modernist and Neoclassical architectural styles. One of its most striking features is the elegant Corinthian columns, designed by an Italian sculptor and architect named Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli.
The National Gallery Singapore is now open to the public; it houses a spectacular array of over 8,000 works of art from Singapore and around Southeast Asia. Opening hours are Saturdays to Thursdays, 10am to 7pm, and Fridays from 10am to 9pm. Admission is free for Singaporeans; non-Singaporeans are charged a $20 entry fee.