Fort Canning Center’s Heritage Gallery is a permanent exhibition located in the pre-war building. Let’s do an exploration of the center’s gallery, one focused on the 700 years of history and the rich heritage of Fort Canning Hill.
Furthermore, Fort Canning has two notable buildings within the hill park compound. Also, it used to serve the British Defense ministry given its vantage point. It has a network of underground bunkers and tunnel system currently explorable via the hill’s Battlebox attraction.
A unique Fort Canning exhibition
Moreover, the entrance to the Heritage gallery sits on the building’s ground floor, which is actually level 2. Here a spacious lobby atrium greets you with a museum info and security counter located here.
Also, the entrance to the fort canning gallery is on your immediate right on the south wing. There is a display of rickshaws here, though it is more of a photo opportunity than anything significant.
Additionally, this new heritage gallery grounds opened in late August this year. It showcases Fort Canning Park’s rich history through interactive displays. The galleries are divided into five zones starting first with an introduction zone and four other themed zones. Also, they are spread out over two levels of the south wing of Fort Canning Centre.
A walk through Fort Canning past
Moreover, the galleries cover the history and the geographical records of fort Canning over the centuries. Tad a curation of Archaeology of the fort canning region. On display is a collection of excavated remnants. Also, notably the Fort Canning hill was seat of power for Malay Kings in the 14th century.
Furthermore, covered here through a mix of stories, historical records and legends dating since the 1200s. This was when the Malaysian Sultanage when Singapore (Temasek) was still part of the Malay peninsula.
The first-floor gallery ends with an original pillar of the building left untouched over the years.
The first floor closing section and pillar.
Thereafter, the galleries carry on to the second floor via a staircase stairwell. This time covering more of a mix-mash of anthropology animals, botany and geographical features of the hill. The stairwell up is nicely decorated despite being situated where the building toilets are.
Moreover, in 1822, the British made the spot the first botanical and experimental garden in Singapore. Also, there is a display covering the flora and fauna of the hill. Most of them being typical South East Asian critters including monitor lizard, hornbills and jungle fowls, which you can spot roaming the outdoor gardens.
However, do not expect to find mousedeers, pangolins and wild boars due to their destruction of their natural habitat in Singapore’s rapid urbanisation. Also, the display of animals and drawings does reminds you of the exhibits at the William Farquhar and Raffles collection we saw at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, and the Botanical gardens gallop extension.
Also, one cool thing about the exhibits here is that the immediate park area complements the displays in display. Having said that, you can simply can just head out to explore the nearby garden, archaeological dig sites to see the sites in-person.
Additionally, other interesting items on display includes. Interestingly, there is also a small potted carnivorous plant called the pitcher plant here. Though it does not look like to be in a very good shape when I visited. Also, the galleries compliment the new enhanced spice gardens and new Spice Gallery highlighting Singapore’s spice history.
Bicentennial centrepiece revisited
Moreover, the Fort Canning galleries goes onto to covering folklore and legends of Singapore past. Also, this includes robes worn by Malay nobles and including the full set of the costume worn by actors playing Sang Nila Utama from the Singapore Bicentennial.
Wrapping up are content from the Singapore Bicentennial centerpiece event. Also, notably, the Fort Canning Center is one previously used by the Singapore bicentennial experience in 2019, where the entire building was transformed into a cinematic experience offering an audio-visual experience story telling about Singapore history.
Additionally, you can watch a condensed version of the “From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience”. It is on loop here in a mini-theatre at the gallery. Also, there are also several informative and in-depth info displays covering the historical overview of Singapore. Also, you exit these galleries on the third floor towards the other sister galleries in the North wing. Examples include the Kaleidoscope of clay exhibition within the building or the Battlebox attraction during your trip too. Alternatively, the Singapore National Museum is a short 10min walk away, if you desire the continue on your history and gallery journey.
All in all, you are good for both the lower and upper galleries for about just over an hour tops on your journey covering 800 years of Singapore’s history. The Fort Canning Heritage Gallery permanent exhibition opens 10am to 6pm daily, and closed on the last Monday of the month for maintenance. Admission is free.