Friday, 17 November 2017



Built 160 years ago by Sultan Ali, the son of Sultan Hussein Shah, Istana Kampong Gelam was once the royal seat of the Malay sultans in Singapore.

Today this place has been converted to a museum, which showcase the rich Malay heritage and culture in Singapore, with historical artefacts, interactive multimedia and colourful exhibits from Singapore's national collection as well as contributions from the community.

We can learn more about Kampong Gelam as a thriving port town before Sir Stamford Raffles' arrival in 1819, or, find out about other Malay cultures, such as the seafaring Bugis people, many of whom were traders from the Indonesian archipelago.

The first Istana Kampng Gelam was originally a timber structure built on stilts. Its upper level was known as the "panggung", or the main living and sleeping quarters of the house. At the ground level, the "kolong" was used as storage, work or services area, or even a children's play area.

The Centre honours the original layout, which you can make a tour of the permanent galleries starts from the upper floor and ends at the ground level.

Beautifully restored to its former glory, the Malay Heritage Centre sits within these well-preserved grounds and is a must-visit for anyone interested in understanding the history of Singapore's Malay community.

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