Singapore has had a number of beautiful churches constructed since the British arrived. They show a wide variety of influences, most of it Western, and come from a vast number of different denominations. Many of them are easily accessible, so you can marvel at the stunning architecture and pay tribute to a legacy that existed for over a hundred years.
Located right in the city centre and within City Hall itself, this Anglican church is a beauty to see from the outside, mainly due to the large space it commands while standing in beautiful solitude away from the maddening crowds of the city. This national monument with Gothic Revival pretences was initially built in 1838 and is fascinating to visit due to the intricacies of its finer details – including the arched entrance which cascades to the doorway and its interiors where the columns stretches upwards amplifying its scale.
Built by Portuguese missionaries and used mostly by the Portuguese and mixed Portuguese-Asian population, this spectacular Gothic Revival-designed church proudly wears its Lusitanian influences on its sleeve. From its outdoor shrine to Our Lady of Fatima to the particular ceramic telework called azulejos. The interior has a conspicuously sacred feel with the imagery and statues of various saints occupying the stained glass windows and the niches across the hall.
This particular church stands out for being the only Roman Catholic Church to pay tribute to the Romano-Byzantine artistic tradition with its architecture. This is particularly notable in its glorious dome and the intricate cupolas and arches seen on its facade. However, it was made not for the Easter Rite worshippers but the Hokkien-speaking Chinese population and was the first church in their vernacular. Inspired by a church in Paris, this is one of the more outstanding marvels of church architecture in Singapore.
This church was initially built for the Teochew-speaking Chinese community. Built in the ominous neo-Gothic style, it has a stunning narrow hall washed in white, and is adorned with startlingly bright stained glass on its roof. The exterior has a very domineering presence, with a particularly long steeple that even in modern Singapore makes quite an impression.
As the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Singapore with the chapel built in 1832, this is the seat of the Archbishop of Singapore. This church, built in a restrained Renaissance Revival style, is particularly important for housing the relics of St. Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert, a famous missionary in Asia. It has a very domineering entrance and presents itself like something out of Ancient Rome with minimalist interiors and exteriors replete with intricate details.
Another Roman Catholic Church that’s slightly more contemporary with its current shape being built a little less than 70 years ago in 1950. Built in a Gothic style, this church is known to have a exuberant exterior with its rounded edges and earthy colours, in contrast to its severe interior that bears all the hallmarks one would expect of a Gothic infrastructure with striking tiles and stained windows.
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As its name implies, this was built in tribute to the apparitions of the Virgin Mary sighted in the town of Lourdes, and was historically used by the Tamil Roman Catholics. It strikes an imposing presence due in large part to its Neo-Gothic architecture with its sharp edges and lancet windows. It’s believed to be influenced by the similar church in its namesake town in France.
This Roman Catholic Church constructed in 1910 has one of the most unique colour designs you will find in Singapore. On its exteriors, especially on the steeple, you will see a very striking blue at its edges and as you enter, you will be greeted by the same neon blue plastered across the looming stained glass windows. These strange colour co-ordination grace the church with an exuberant atmosphere and further cements it as one of the more aesthetically unique sacred sites in the country.
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Built in 1835 for members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, this rather miniscule edifice is striking for its round shaped interiors, stunning painted interiors and the glorious statues out on its front yard. Located right in the city centre, this monument stands still even when the Armenian population dwindled. Its inspiration is the Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Armenia and the popular British neoclassical style.
Prominent for its glaring circular-shaped stained glass windows that greet visitors as they enter, the images depict various key events in the life of Jesus. This church is beautiful with tiny embellishments adding to its vibrant atmosphere. It also has a very different exterior, shaped in a classic Chinese architectural style with waves on opposite ends of the roof.