The Raffles Statue in Singapore
- Who is Raffles: Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles was a British statesman and founder of modern Singapore. He served as the Lieutenant Governor of the British colony of Java from 1811-1816, and later as the Lieutenant Governor of the British colony of Bencoolen (now Bengkulu, Indonesia) from 1818-1824.
- Statue: The Raffles Statue is a bronze sculpture of Sir Stamford Raffles, created by Italian sculptor Thomas Woolner. It stands at 4.9 meters tall and weighs 3 tons.
- Contribution to Singapore: Raffles is credited with founding modern Singapore, transforming it from a small fishing village to a bustling trading port. He established a free port, developed trade links with China and India, and encouraged the growth of local industries.
- Location: The Raffles Statue is located at the Empress Place area, near the Singapore River and the Fullerton Hotel. It faces the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.
Arms folded and looking thoughtfully out to sea
The white polymarble statue of Raffles at the Singapore River is often photographed by tourists and locals alike.
Take your selfies with this popular figure, located at the historic Raffles Landing Site where Raffles was believed to first set foot on the island in 1819.
- The statue is actually a copy of the original dark bronze statue
- Placed here in 1972, on the 150th anniversary of Singapore’s founding
- If you want to see the much older, original statue, it’s just a short stroll away, in front of Victoria Memorial Hall at Empress Place
- Getting There: The Raffles Statue can be easily accessed by public transportation. The nearest MRT station is Raffles Place MRT Station (EW14/NS26), which is a 5-minute walk away. The statue is also within walking distance from various bus stops.
Trivia buffs will love some of the stories behind the Raffles Statue.
- It was nicknamed orang besi (“iron man” in Malay) when it was first unveiled.
- The first statue was relocated from its original location at the Padang in 1919. It was often hit by flying footballs during games, and early Padang spectators liked sitting at its base for a good view.
- During the Japanese Occupation, the statue was moved to Syonan Museum (the former Raffles Museum, now National Museum Singapore), and it was widely believed that the Japanese had intended for it to be melted for its bronze. It was reinstalled at Empress Place in 1946.
Today, the statue remains a symbol
59 Boat Quay, Singapore 049859