Merlion

Merlion

Practically every capital in the world has its own symbol or a mascot. Singapore is no exception. The most recognizable and visited city sight is right before you. In other words, Singapore's symbol and charm is the Merlion, a mythical creature with a lion's head and a body of a fish pouring water from its mouth. Today everyone who visits Singapore happily takes a photo with this unusual sculpture (it is 8.6 m tall and weighs 70 tons). Not far from that gigantic creature there is a 2-meter-tall cub of Merlion standing in a park. Meanwhile Sentosa Island features an enormous 37-meter-tall copy of the Merlion with a viewing point in his mouth from where you can observe the surroundings.

The word "Merlion" is formed by the words 'mer' (sea) and 'lion'. The lion stands for strength while the body of a fish reminds of the city's close ties with the sea (Singapore used to be a fishermen's village). The Merlion statue in Singapore was created after an emblem designed by Alec Fraser-Brunner in 1964 for the Singapore Tourism Board. The concrete statue was placed near the mouth of the Singapore River to be inaugurated on September 15, 1972.

In 1997 after the Esplanade bridge was opened the statue happened to be covered from sight by its constructions. A view over the popular mascot from the embankment was practically blocked. In 2002 an unprecedented three day operation to move the statue on a barge 120 down the river was carried out. The Merlion was installed over a barge, then lifted in the air to move it across the Esplanade bridge, and then put down to the barge to complete its journey. The statue was placed before Fullerton hotel. And the same way as it was 30 years ago, in 1972, the inauguration ceremony of Merlion's welcome was headed by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. After dawn when the embankment is lighted by the beams of the skyscrapers, the Merlion can be seen in its full splendor. You can also take a little copy of the Merlion with you as a souvenir for your Singapore trip to stay in your heart forever.

Address: One Fullerton Rd
How to reach: MRT Raffles Place NS26, EW14
Coordinates: 1.28684, 103.85453