Timothy Tye
Fort Canning

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Fort Canning, SingaporeFort Canning, Singapore (9 July, 2006)

Fort Canning (GPS: 1.29499, 103.84601) is the name of the fortification on Government Hill, a small hill in the southeast portion of Singapore, within the Central Area that forms Singapore's Central Business District. However, the term "Fort Canning" is commonly used to refer to Government Hill itself. Although small in size, Fort Canning has a long association with the history of Singapore, due to its elevation over the city's civic district.

At the time when Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore, Fort Canning Hill was called Bukit Larangan, meaning "Forbidden Hill" in Malay. Raffles was told that the local settlers were afraid of climbing the hill because they believed it was a holy site where the palace of their ancestral kings were located. At the southern slope of the hill is Keramat Iskandar Shah, venerated by the locals as the grave of the last Malay king of the island.

Archaeological excavation of Fort Canning Hill indeed revealed ruins of ancient brick buildings validating the folklore. Little was known about these ruins, however, or the connection to the hill's ancient history. Relics uncovered suggested the existence of a settlement at the hill, and possibly Singapore's pre-colonial involvement as a regional trading hub. It was probably overcome by invading foreign forces around the 14th century.

Previously, Fort Canning Hill was called Government Hill, but was renamed Fort Canning after Lord Charles John Canning, the Governor General of India. Fort Canning was part of the fortification of 19th century Singapore which included Fort Fullerton, Fort Palmer, Fort Teregah and Fort Faber. The construction of Fort Canning required that the top of the hill be levelled, to create a 3-hectare area.

A lighthouse was built at Fort Canning in 1903. It replaces the Fullerton Lighthouse and was used from 1903 to 1958. Most of the fort was demolished in 1926 when Fort Canning Reservoir was built.

Today Fort Canning Park overlooks Orchard Road and offers a variety of recreational activities as well as historical, educational, entertainment and cultural experiences. The park also serves as a green lung for Singapore's downtown area.

Map of Sights in Fort Canning

Hotel at Fort Canning

Hotel Fort Canning

List of Sights in Fort Canning with their own pages

Keramat Iskandar Syah

GPS: 1.29436, 103.84728


The Cupolas


The Gate


The Sally Port


Other sights at Fort Canning

Where necessary, the sights are pinpointed to the map.

Gothic Gate (GPS: 1.29507, 103.84794)

Gothic Gate (GPS: 1.29598, 103.8477)

Steps leading up to Fort CanningSteps leading up to Fort Canning (GPS: 1.29728, 103.84639) (9 July, 2006)

Gate of Fort CanningGate of Fort Canning GPS: 1.29503, 103.84583 (9 July, 2006)

Fort Canning Time BallFort Canning Time Ball (GPS: 1.29168, 103.84724) (9 July, 2006)

Fort Canning FlagstaffFort Canning Flagstaff (GPS: 1.29178, 103.84764) (9 July, 2006)

Fort Canning LighthouseFort Canning Lighthouse (GPS: 1.29214, 103.8478) (9 July, 2006)

Fort Canning Microwave StationFort Canning Microwave Station (GPS: 1.29214, 103.8478) (9 July, 2006)

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