Table of Contents
The History of the Merlion Statue
- Origin: The Merlion statue was first conceptualized in 1964 as a tourism symbol for the Singapore Tourism Board. The idea was to create a unique creature that would embody Singapore’s history and identity.
- Design: The design of the Merlion statue was created by Kwan Sai Kheong, a local artist, and sculpted by Lim Nang Seng, a master craftsman. The statue features the head of a lion and the body of a fish, with water spouting from its mouth.
- Unveiling: The Merlion statue was officially unveiled on September 15, 1972, by then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the mouth of the Singapore River.
- Relocation: With the construction of the Esplanade Bridge in 1997, the Merlion statue was no longer visible from the waterfront. In 2002, it was relocated to Merlion Park, where it now stands in front of the Fullerton Hotel overlooking Marina Bay.
- Symbolism: The Merlion statue represents Singapore’s history and identity as a fishing village (the fish body) that grew into a prosperous trading port (the lion head). The water spouting from its mouth symbolizes the city’s origin as a port on the sea.
The Half Lion Half Fish Statue and Fountains
- Size: The Merlion statue is a half lion half fish creature, with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. It stands at 8.6 meters tall and weighs 70 tonnes, and is made of concrete and steel. Water spouts from the Merlion’s mouth, creating a fountain effect.
Why the Merlion Statue Faces East
- Auspicious Direction: The Merlion statue faces east, which is considered an auspicious direction in many Asian cultures. East is associated with the rising sun and new beginnings, and is believed to bring prosperity and good fortune.
- Preserved Orientation: Even after the Merlion statue was relocated to Merlion Park in 2002, its original east-facing orientation was preserved. This was done to maintain the statue’s auspicious symbolism and to honor its original placement at the mouth of the Singapore River.
Getting to Merlion Park by Public Transport
- By MRT: The nearest MRT station is Raffles Place (NS26/EW14). From there, it is a 10-minute walk to Merlion Park.
- By Bus: Take bus numbers 57, 70M, 75, 100, 107, 128, 130, 131, 162, 167, 186, NR1, NR2, NR5, NR6, NR7, or NR8, and alight at the Fullerton Hotel bus stop.
- By River Taxi: Take a river taxi from any of the jetties along the Singapore River to Merlion Park.
Other Attractions Near Merlion Park
- The Fullerton Hotel: A luxury hotel located near Merlion Park, featuring elegant rooms, dining options, and a rooftop bar.
- Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay: A performing arts centre featuring a concert hall, theatre, and outdoor performance spaces.
- Marina Bay Sands: A world-famous integrated resort featuring a casino, shopping mall, convention centre, and rooftop infinity pool.
- Gardens by the Bay: A stunning nature park featuring futuristic supertrees, conservatories, and outdoor gardens.
- Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade: A scenic waterfront promenade offering breathtaking views of the bay and the city skyline.
Fullerton Road, One Fullerton, Singapore 049213, Singapore
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