Padang, Singapore

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Padang, the Center of the Singapore Universe
Singapore's Padang has remained undisturbed by major construction since it was zoned as a playing field in 1820, two years after Stamford Raffles staked his claim on Singapore for the British Empire. It remains the country’s most important civic venue for events such as the National Day Parade and for cricket matches and soccer tournaments. The field, once along Singapore’s coastline and now further inland due to land reclamation, is surrounded by the country’s most important colonial-era buildings, most of which still stand. The grand neo-classical colonnaded National Gallery of Singapore was the former City Hall built in 1929, while next to it the grand old Supreme Court building from 1939 still sits pretty. The 1884-built Singapore Cricket Club with its red tile roof and green shutters anchors one end of the field and nearby is the great white St. Andrew’s Cathedral from 1861. The Arts House, originally a mansion built by a rich Scotsman in 1827; the Victoria Theatre built as the Town Hall in 1862; and the Concert Hall next door from 1905 have all been restored beautifully.
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