“Streets of Harmony” in Singapore

All three of the Straits Settlements towns, Penang, Malacca and Singapore were known to be multi-cultural melting pots, home to almost all of the creeds and religions in the world.  In each of these, there were streets known as “Streets of Harmony,” where on the very same street were to be found significant places of worship from each of the major religions in the city.

Penang has its Pitt Street, known today as Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Malacca its Temple Street, known today as Jalan Tokong.  Both of these were strongly promoted in the cities’ bids for UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and today still feature strongly in the city’s marketing material.

In the case of Singapore, there hasn’t been an official labeling of any one street as a “Street of Harmony” as such, but there are at least three that could possibly be in the running.  This gallery takes the viewer through each of them in turn.

The first and most “harmonious” of the streets are the fraternal twins Waterloo and Queen Streets – with their Catholic Churches, Hindu Temple, Chinese Temple and even a Jewish Synagogue.  The second is Telok Ayer Street, which is one of the oldest streets in Singapore, and in terms of historic credentials, most likely to anointed the city’s “Street of Harmony.”  The final street is South Bridge Road, just north of Telok Ayer Street in Chinatown.

And just because this gallery covers the most important Chinese and Indian places of worship in Singapore – the Thian Hock Keng Temple on Telok Ayer Street, and the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple on South Bridge Road – I thought it appropriate to also throw in the equivalent for Singapore’s Malay Muslim Community – the Sultan Mosque – even though it sits in its own precinct, Kampong Glam, away from the Streets of Harmony.

With this post, my Grand Tour – all twelve cities and chapters of it – comes to a complete end. How quickly a year has passed by.

A) Waterloo and Queen Streets

St John’s Church (1912), with the National Library Building in the background.

St John’s Church (1912), with the National Library Building in the background.

St John's Church (view from Middle Road)

St John’s Church (view from Middle Road)

Cherub at 222 Queen St - the former Catholic High Campus

Cherub at 222 Queen St – the former Catholic High Campus

Church of Saints Peter and Paul (1870)

Church of Saints Peter and Paul (1870)

Colonial-era bungalow.

Colonial-era bungalow.

Chinese Calligraphic Society of Singapore

Chinese Calligraphic Society of Singapore

More colonial-era structures

More colonial-era structures

Sculpture Square

Sculpture Square

The former St Joseph's Institution (1855), now the Singapore Art Museum.

The former St Joseph’s Institution (1855), now the Singapore Art Museum.

Maghain Aboth Synagogue (1878) – the oldest synagogue in Southeast Asia.

Maghain Aboth Synagogue (1878) – the oldest synagogue in Southeast Asia.

Sri Krishnan Temple (1870).

Sri Krishnan Temple (1870).

Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple (existing since 1884, rebuilt in 1982).

Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple (existing since 1884, rebuilt in 1982).

B) Telok Ayer Street

Shophouses

Shophouses

Chinese Medicine Association

Chinese Medicine Association

Thian Hock Keng Temple (1842), the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore.

Thian Hock Keng Temple (1842), the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore.

Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre (1830)

Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre (1830)

Art Deco Building

Art Deco Building

Former Hokkien Huay Kwan Building (1913)

Former Hokkien Huay Kwan Building (1913)

Al-Abrar Mosque (1855)

Al-Abrar Mosque (1855)

Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church (1924)

Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church (1924)

C) South Bridge Road

Masjid Jamae Chulia (1826)

Masjid Jamae Chulia (1826)

Sri Mariamman Temple (1827)

Sri Mariamman Temple (1827)

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum (2007)

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum (2007)

D) Kampong Glam

Sultan Mosque (1928)

Sultan Mosque (1928)

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Home, Landmarks & History, Literature & Philosophy, Photography, Singapore, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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