Singapore, during the 1890s, vintage engraving. Old engraved illustration of Singapore with river in between and back. Trousset encyclopedia (1886 - 1891).
The history of Singapore is inextricably linked to that of the Singapore River.
From the moment Sir Stamford Raffles stepped foot at its mouth, the British transformed a small fishing village and settlement into a free trading port and changed the fortune of Singapore forever.
Along its banks, immigrants from China, India and other nearby countries flocked here in search of a better fortune. Built in 1823, Boat Quay served as a commercial centre for barges to transport goods upstream to the warehouses at Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay along the Singapore River. Commerce and trading flourished along the jetties and piers, paving the way for greater financial success.
In 1977, an ambitious project to clean up the Singapore River gave the river a much-needed makeover and 10 years later, schools of fish have returned to its waters.
The result was a clean and sparkling river, flanked by a 6km promenade and river wall. Even the old quays and warehouses were metamorphosed into entertainment and retail zones, offering a multi-sensory lifestyle experience that continues to beckon even till today, transforming the Singapore River precinct into an exciting waterfront lifestyle destination.