Singapore // The Colonial District //

The National Museum

You can’t fail to spot the eye-catching dome, seemingly coated with silvery fish scales, of the National Museum of Singapore. Its forerunner, the Raffles Museum and Library, opened in 1887 and soon acquired a reputation for its natural history collection. In the 1960s, following independence, the place was renamed the National Museum and subsequently altered its focus to local history and culture, an emphasis retained after a recent overhaul that saw the original Neoclassical building gain a hangar-like rear extension larger than itself. That extension houses the mainstay of the new-look museum – the History Gallery – while the old building is home to the Living Galleries, focusing on various aspects of Singapore culture and society. If you have no interest in seeing the History Gallery, note that after it shuts there’s free admission to the rest of the museum.

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