Sunday, 19 June 2011

Singapore cathedral, the story behind the photo

Last time I was in Singapore I did my own self-guided heritage walking tour around the vicinity of the Raffles Hotel and Chijmes Centre. Not far from there, right near Singapore MRT City Hall station is the beautiful St Andrew's Cathedral.

I took some photos at the time and now I am prompted to find out more about this Anglican cathedral.

There was an old church on this site built by Indian convicts as far back as 1837. However the building was struck by lightning and was pulled down, so the cathedral you see now is the building that replaced it in 1852. The building now on the site now was designed by Colonel Ronald MacPherson in the architectural style of English Gothic revival. It is based on the 13th-century Netley Abbey in England. The four paths that lead to the cathedral form the Cross of St. Andrew.

It’s difficult to get a full distance photo of the cathedral now, as the area is in the midst of city buildings. However you can see old picture of St Andrew's Cathedral, here Courtesy of National Archives of Singapore.

The interior walls are plastered with an unusual building material known as Madras Chunam which is a mixture of shell lime, egg white and sugar, and was used to achieve the glossy white walls.

During the Japanese occupation in 1942, the church served as a casualty clearing station where the war wounded were treated.

I did not take any interior photos, but here on Flickr there is a picture of the Stained glass East window.

Read more about the history of St Andrew’s Cathedral here and next time you are in Singapore take some time to visit.

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