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Sail down the river that brings us life at this new gallery on the Singapore River

At the only museum located along the River 

By Amanda Chai | Nov 20, 2017

  • Sail down the river that brings us life at this new gallery on the Singapore River
    Singapore River by a French artist, 1830

Our history as a nation may be short, but the Asian Civilisations Museum would like to remind Singaporeans everywhere that it’s one still worth commemorating. Hence their newest gallery—the Singapore River Gallery, opened to chart, remember and celebrate our iconic waterway that was once the country’s lifeline for almost 200 years.

Organized chronologically, the collections and narratives explore stories and artefacts from the 14th century up until present day. A particular one of interest is a fragment of stone bearing an ancient inscription. Dubbed the Singapore Stone, it belonged to a larger piece of stone discovered at the mouth of the Singapore River in the early 1820s. Till today, scholars are still unable to decipher the mysterious inscription.

Singapore Stone, 14th century
View of Boat Quay, around 1900
Mouth of Singapore River, mid-19th century
Materials from excavation, 14th or 15th century
Boat Quay before clean-up, mid-20th century

On display are also excavated ceramics and products from back when the river served as a trading port, as well as various artist impressions and photographs chronicling its steady evolution. The entire gallery complements the trade narrative of the museum, so you’re free to stroll around and complete the bigger picture of the Singapore history lesson any time you want.


The Singapore River Gallery is open from 8:30am-7pm daily at the Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 1. Admission is free and you can find more information here

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