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Merlion Park – A Hub for Art and Performance

Merlion Park

Located at 1 Fullerton, Merlion Park is strategically placed to display the Iconic symbol of Singapore, the Merlion. A statue of the mythical creature with a lion crest and the body of a fish spouts water from a great height to the spectacular Marina Bay. Be awed by the richness of history and artistry around this park.

Singapore, located at the tip of the Malay Peninsular was a fishing village (called Temasek in Malay) under Johor till 1819 when Sir Thomas Raffles, a British Sailor bought it from the Sultan of Johor. The shape of Merlion’s body like a fish stemmed from this reason. According to ancient local legend, a lion has been sighted at Temasek by a Prince from Java thus the head resembles a lion’s crest.

This unique concept was developed by Fraser Brunner, the curator of Van Kleef Aquarium (the first public aquarium in Singapore). Merlion (name) was also coined around that time for use by the Singapore Tourism Board in 1964.

The Merlion statue was conceptualized by Kwang Sai Kheong, Vice Chancellor of the University of Singapore and sculpted meticulously over 08 months from November 1971 to August 1972 by Lim Nang Seng and opened to the public in September 1972. The grand opening was by then Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kwan Yew, at the original Merlion Park at the mouth of Singapore River. Later, due to developments at the Esplanade Bridge, the statue had to be moved to a different location as its visibility from the waterfront was hindered for onlookers. 

Therefore, after much deliberation in identifying a suitable location, in 2002 this iconic statue was moved to its present location in the heart of the Central Business District at One Fullerton. This central location makes getting to Merlion Park quite easy for most visitors whilst for guests using hotels near Esplanade it is just a short walk.

In all, the iconic Merlion Statue is at 06 locations in Singapore. (02 of them at Merlion Park)

Merlion Park

Merlion Park offers much in addition to showcasing the mythical Merlion Statues. The park at the new location has two of them. The smaller statue known as Merlion Cub is identical however is only 2m tall. These hold a lot of appeal to visitors just as much as they have appeal and bonding to Singaporeans. Visitors can get close to the statue or even stroll along the jetty that extends to Marina Bay presenting a vantage point for that instagrammable photo you can post.

Or do the shoot even more creatively by placing yourself so that the spouting fountain of water from the Merlion’s mouth seems to fall right into yours, an ingenious click used by visitors to Singapore including guests at properties such as PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, Singapore.

These clever stunts are possible as people can visit the park at any time of the day and entrance is free for all. The captures at sunset against Marina Bay are spectacular ones too.

Facilities and attractions of the Merlion Park

Merlion Park offers many features for the comfort, convenience, and enjoyment of its visitors.

Merlion Walk – This is a walkway for pedestrians running parallel to the scenic Marina Bay. The palm-lined stretch offers many picturesque settings during your stroll and benches to relax in. Don’t fail to capture images as you take in the beauty around you.

Merlion Tower – This 5-storey building is ideal to take in the spectacular views of Singapore city. Most visitors take the elevator right to the top for the panoramic views from here. If you visit here late in the evening it offers a gorgeous view of the skyline of Singapore with the various attractions in the vicinity. Visit the gift shop to pick up Merlion Souvenirs and the café here to fuel up.

Merlion Shop – Perfect place for picking up mementoes, souvenirs, key tags, T-shirts etc, this exciting shop is situated near the Merlion Statue.

Spectra Light and Water Show – An enjoyable 15-minute show at 8 pm and 9 pm from Sunday to Thursday and on Fridays and Saturday an additional show at 10 pm too (03 shows). Find a good place to sit with your loved ones and watch the amazing show using laser technology to the accompaniment of live music.

Best Times to Visit – As this is a popular place with locals and visitors avoid peak times to enjoy your visit and make the most of the opportunities to capture images of your visit here. Early morning and late night are ideal.

Merlion Park is much more than a Park

Merlion Park is much more than a park for admiring the Merlion Statues and appreciating the walkways, viewing points and associated experiences.

It is a captivating hub for people to come together and begin to appreciate art and artistic performances by visiting venues like Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. The outstanding performing arts centre with two rounded domes made of glass is across from Marina Bay at the mouth of the Singapore River. This creation is affectionately referred to as The Durian after the domed and spiky local fruit loved by most Singaporeans.

It is a world-class centre for performing arts created as a large arena with several unique spaces for performances. The Theatre itself is shaped like a horseshoe with a seating capacity of 1.950.

All performances done outdoors at Esplanade are free for the public to enjoy. The stage has a cover and there is seating for 450 people.

The most impressive space here is the Concert Hall shaped and designed with acoustic details attended to meticulously. With seating for 1,600 spreads over 4 levels, the enormous hall is complete with a grand organ.  

With all these different facilities and amenities Theatres by the Bay brings together a medley of shows to the Marina Bay area. This is a venue to witness and appreciate culture and performing arts irrespective of whether it is a local group or international group performing as the enjoyment and energy are great.


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