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Before Singapore assumed self-government in 1959 and became a fully independent Republic in 1965, the island was a British colony and traces of its colonial heritage can still be seen today. Indeed, beneath the futuristic skyscrapers, which embody modern Singapore, much of the grand colonial charm still remains, about which Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham waxed lyrical. The heart of colonial Singapore straddles the mouth of the Singapore River, where Raffles first landed. A cluster of architectural legacies such as the Parliament House, Victoria Theatre, Singapore Cricket Club, Supreme Court and City Hall surrounds an open expanse of green, named the Padang ("playing field" in Malay). Not too far away, The Fullerton Hotel and the Raffles Hotel on Beach Road are landmark hotels, which epitomize this grand old era.
Explore this interesting district on foot with the help of the Civic District Trail walking tour map, which is available at the Raffles Hotel Museum, National Museum Shops and Visitor Information Centres. The distinctive history of Singapore has given rise to a number of landmarks and memorials - each a poignant reminder of a chapter of Singapore's past. They date back as far as the British colonial period to the Japanese Occupation during World War II.
For more information about visiting Singapore, please visit Your Singapore site.
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