CHIJMES, with its lush meadows, marble cascades, courtyards and neoclassical buildings, has gone back to a more enjoyable time. The answer to its architecture lies in the fact that it used to be a Catholic school for girls. CHIJMES started its journey with one building, Caldwell House, architectural masterpeice by George Coleman ( also associated with the Old Parliament of Singapore) designed as a home for a clerk.
Father Beurel bought the property in 1853, along with the adjoining grounds, and a new school for girls was built. Around Caldwell the construction of many other structures began, including the large Anglo-French Gothic chapel. Both the places are still a wonder to this day. Thus, visiting these museums near CHIJMES is as important as visiting the church. They also founded an orphanage for unwanted children left behind by their parents. Many of these children were female Chinese babies and were often too sick to be helped. However, for survivors, they received free education from school, including crafts and domestic skills lessons. The educational institution grew rapidly and bought the land nearby to enlarge the complex. This includes land for the construction of a larger boarding school and a chapel for the expanding student base. Look for the Door of Hope, which is still on Victoria Street, where the people left unwanted babies under the care of the church.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Singapore government planned to develop the site of the church, including a commercial park and a metro system. The government bought the properties in 1983 and transferred the school to a new location in Toa Payoh.
In March 1990, the government put the property up for sale, but this time the chapel acquired historical status and the whole complex had to be preserved along with its general environment. The region has undergone significant development in the six years since it reopened in 1996: its current name, CHIJMES, pays tribute to the name of the school of origin and its previous roles.
1. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Another name in the list of best places to see in Jurong East, Singapore is Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. This museum displays 2000 items and artifacts related to the history of living organisms like plant species, orchids, animal fossils, and human fossils. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is frequented by millions of visitors annually.
Location: 2 Conservatory Dr, Singapore 117377
Opening hours: 10 am – 7 pm
Entrance charges: INR 823/- per person
Read More: Top places to visit in Jurong East
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2. The Intan
One of the many intriguing things to do in Geylang, Singapore is to plan a visit to the Peranakan museum called The Intan. The most interesting aspect of this place is that this place is a home-cum-museum started by its owner Alvin Yapp. The amazing place will give you a complete insight about the life and times of the Peranakans, scions of immigrants from China who married the Malay women. It’s a treat to spend some time learning about the rich heritage, tradition, culture and lifestyle of the community and that too straight from a fellow Peranakan. A 90 minute tour is concluded by a tea and snacks session which is a complete traditional affair and the culinary delights are prepared by the owner’s mother herself.
Location: Joo Chiat Terrace, geylang, Singapore
Timings: 7:00am to 10:00pm
Entry Fees: INR 3000 per person
Read More: Best Things To Do In Geylang
3. Artspace Museum
ArtSpace Museum, which is located at the Prestige Istana Park, redefines art and lifestyles. Being a leading art club for all, anyone from anywhere can learn, enjoy and appreciate art here. It can be reached easily as it is just a 5-minutes walk away from the Dhoby Ghaut MRT. It offers flexible timing and personalized painting and drawing workshops for the art lovers to explore, learn from and enjoy.
Read More: Top Things To Do Near Helix Bridge
4. Peranakan Museum
Peranakan Culture is actually one of the major South Asian hybrid communities. It consists of three cultures; namely Malay, Chinese and Indian. This museum houses some of the largest collection of this bygone hybrid of heritage and culture. Built in the year 1913 by some Chinese traders, this venue contains three stories which each house very distinctive artifacts which are related to Peranakans. Here you will get to experience museum tours which will take through the traditional Peranakan’s huge 12-day wedding complete with furniture, textiles and ancient jewelry. The tour is available in Japanese, Mandarin, English, and French languages. You can also book a private tour for your group of it contains 20 people or more.
Location: Armenian street.
Hours Open: 10 to 19:00 and 10 to 9 pm on Fridays.
Read More: Religious Places To Visit In Singapore
Despite the gastronomic hangouts and nightlife that it offers today, CHIJMES exudes an aura of peace and harmony, which makes it a quiet, tranquil place. Today, CHIJMES is known for its thriving food and beverage scene in the heart of Singapore. The area has many restaurants with terraces and in the evening, when the lights come on, the neighborhood is filled with visitors wishing to dine at the various outlets. CHIJMES is more than just a food complex. Its long history is closely linked to Singapore: it is the second oldest building in the country and is deserving of a visit from any traveler visiting Singapore. Also, do not forget to visit these museums near CHIJMES.
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