Singapore River, where it all began

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Architecture, General

Singapore River, where it all began © flickr.com - William Cho./cc-by-sa-2.0

Singapore River, where it all began © flickr.com – William Cho./cc-by-sa-2.0

The Singapore River is a river in Singapore that flows from the Central Area, which lies in the Central Region in the southern part of Singapore before emptying into the ocean. The immediate upper watershed of the Singapore River is known as the Singapore River Planning Area, although the northernmost part of the watershed becomes River Valley. As the Central Area is treated as a central business district, nearly all land surrounding it is commercial. It is one of about 40 rivers in Singapore and its islands.

The Singapore River is approximately three kilometers long from its source at Kim Seng Bridge to where it empties into Marina Bay and finally the Singapore Strait; the river extends more than two kilometers beyond its original source at Kim Seng Bridge as Alexandra Canal, as far as the junction of Commonwealth Avenue, and after that there is a break all the way until Buona Vista, where it becomes Sungei Ulu Pandan and goes into the Sungei Pandan. The mouth of the Singapore River was the old Port of Singapore, being naturally sheltered by the southern islands. Historically, the city of Singapore initially grew around the port so the river mouth became the centre of trade, commerce and finance. To this day, area around the old Singapore River mouth, the Downtown Core, remains the most expensive and economically important piece of land in Singapore.

Boat Quay © Sengkang Clarke Quay © Sengkang Robertson Quay © Sengkang Singapore River © Rifleman 82 Singapore River, where it all began © flickr.com - William Cho./cc-by-sa-2.0
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Singapore River, where it all began © flickr.com - William Cho./cc-by-sa-2.0
Some of the temples, shrines and other places of worship still stand in the vicinity of the river. Bridges such as Anderson Bridge, Elgin Bridge and Cavenagh Bridge still remain, the Merlion, the shophouses, and the large trees such as Banyan and Madras Thorn. Some parts of this area include quays such as Clarke Quay, Boat Quay and Robertson Quay, which generated trade and extensive demand for services with the boats that landed at the quays. Boat Quay itself was handling three quarters of the shipping service in the 1860s. Shophouses and warehouses flourished around the quays due to their proximity to trade during the colonial era, but presently house various bars, pubs and restaurants, as well as antique shops.

The river is now part of the Marina Reservoir after damming the Singapore River at its outlet to the sea to create a new reservoir of freshwater. The dam is known as Marina Barrage. Whereas the original mouth of the Singapore River emptied into Singapore Straits and its southern islands before major land reclamation took place, the Singapore River now empties into Marina Bay – an area of water partially enclosed by the reclamation work. The Port of Singapore is now located to the west of the island, using most of the south-west coast, and passenger ships to Singapore now typically berth at the Singapore Cruise Centre at Harbourfront. Thus the Singapore River’s economic role has shifted away from one that of trade, towards more a role accommodated for tourism and aesthetics for the commercial zone which encloses it.

Read more on YourSingapore.com – Singapore River, singapore-river.com, Singapore River Cruise, Singapore River Festival and Wikipedia Singapore River (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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