National monuments in Singapore, gazetted by the National Heritage Board, hold special historic, traditional, archaeological, architectural or artistic value.
While you’ll find good doses of Singapore’s heritage in the city’s museums and ethnic enclaves, the lesser-known side of Singapore’s story is told through these national monuments, hidden in the heartlands and in far-flung corners.
One of the earliest Catholic churches built in the suburbs of Singapore, this neo-gothic house of worship has wonderful architecture along with an iconic statue of the Virgin Mary in front of its main entrance. It was gazetted in 2005 and remains as one of Hougang‘s heritage markers.
1259 Upper Serangoon Rd, Singapore 534795
NEXT: Jurong Town Hall →
Designed to be a landmark that represents Singapore’s industrialisation drive, the Jurong Town Hall once served as the headquarters of Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) — which played a major role in Singapore’s industrial development. The building was constructed between 1971 and 1974, and it currently houses a space for start-up companies called iHub.
9 Jurong Town Hall Rd, Singapore 609431
NEXT: Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery →
Formerly the Siong Lim Temple, this monastery is modelled after one in China incorporating three distinct Hokkien architectural styles, and the traditional architecture is one of Toa Payoh’s distinct sights. The Mahavira Hall (prayer hall) and Tian Wang Dian (entrance hall) of the monastery were gazetted collectively as a national monument in 1980.
184 Jalan Toa Payoh, Singapore 319944
NEXT: Former Admiralty House →
Gazetted in 2002, the Former Admiralty House in Sembawang used to accommodate key military commanders based in Singapore. The two-storey main building, along with an additional one-storey wing extension, was built in the Arts and Crafts style of architecture in the 1920s. Today, it’s home to a private boarding school.
345 Old Nelson Rd, Singapore 758692
NEXT: Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque →
The Alkaff family was one of the well-known and influential Arab families in Singapore in the early 1900s. Named a national monument in 2014, this mosque in Potong Pasir has traces of influence from neoclassical style and Moorish architecture. In fact, its eclectic design amalgamates various architectural styles within the venue.
66 Pheng Geck Ave, Singapore 348261
NEXT: Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple →
The first Hindu temple in Singapore dedicated to Vishnu (a Hindu deity), this temple is renewed and restored every 12 years, following the Hindu tradition. The current structure was built in the 1960s but it was established back in the 1850s. In 1978, it was granted the status of a Singapore national monument.
397 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218123
NEXT: Hong San See →
If not for the HDB blocks in the background, you’d probably think this was a temple somewhere in China. Erected by Chinese migrants in the early 1900s, the name of the temple means “Temple on Phoenix Hill” – the temple sits on high ground once with a view of the sea, although it now sees apartments and eateries in the vicinity.
29 Mohamed Sultan Rd, Singapore 238973
NEXT: Church of St Teresa →
Named after Saint Teresa who was canonised in May 1925 when the church was being built, it was originally a church for Hokkien-speaking Catholics. Today, the church also houses a calumbarium and a parish house.
510 Kampong Bahru Rd, Singapore 099446
NEXT: Tou Mu Kung Temple →
This Taoist temple was mainly modelled after the architectural style found in Quanzhou prefecture, Fujian, with a symmetrical layout and a striking, ornamental roof. Fun fact: as late as 2010, one of the founders’ grandson and his wife were still living in the temple!
779A Upper Serangoon Rd, Singapore 534648
NEXT: Chesed-El Synagogue →
One of the two synagogues in use in Singapore, the building was gazetted as a national monument in Decemer 1998. The design of the synagogue features ancient Roman and Greek architectural features like arches and Corinthian columns.
2 Oxley Rise, Singapore 238693
NEXT: Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary →
By Muneerah Bee and Pinky Chng, last updated October 2017
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