Farewell Sentosa Merlion: 4 interesting things about the iconic monument

  • Singapore’s biggest Merlion, the Sentosa Merlion is counting its days till its closure on Oct. 20
  • The demolition of the monument will make way to a $90-million Sentosa Sensoryscape project
  • In honor of the Sentosa Merlion, here are 4 interesting facts about it

One of Sentosa’s most iconic monuments will almost bid the public farewell in an effort to make way for a themed thoroughfare that will link the north and south shores. The demolition of the Sentosa Merlion is part of a S$90-million Sentosa Sensoryscape project aiming to reshape the resort island and the adjacent pulau Brani into a premier leisure and tourist destination.

The proposed project will connect Resorts World Sentosa to the beaches in the south of the city-state. Sentosa Development Corporation said that the project features such as look-out points, water features and other architectural elements would also create a multi-sensory experience for visitors.

The two islands will be divided into five zones, with hotels, large-scale attractions, dining and retail outlets, as well as green spaces.

Sentosa Development Corporation clarified that there is no demolition date as of yet, but it is said to begin by the end of the year and it’s targeted for completion by 2020. The last day of operations will be on Oct. 20, less than a month away. 

According to a report, the Singapore Tourism Board said in a statement that the redevelopment of the two islands forms an integral part of Singapore’s efforts to rejuvenate its leisure offerings and maintain its appeal.

While the construction of the Sentosa Sensoryscape entails the closure of the popular Merlion attraction, “we are confident that both locals and visitors will have more to look forward to on Sentosa in the coming years when the five distinct zones are completed”, it said.

The Merlion is an internationally-known trademark that shows both its strength as a nation and its origins as a humble fishing village. And while there are more than one Merlion in existence, one of the most well-known is housed in Sentosa.

In celebration of the iconic statue, here are four interesting facts about the Sentosa Merlion in Singapore.

#1. ANCIENT ORIGINS

Merlion Walk
via Little Day Out

While many are captivated by the view of the Sentosa landmark from Merlion Plaza, right behind the tower is another beautiful sight: The Merlion Walk. In a stark contrast to the alabaster skin of the Merlion itself, the Gaudi-istic pathway is colorful and brimming with energy, leading down to Sentosa’s amazing beaches.

But the motivations behind its creation lies with the intention to portray a part of the fable of how the Merlion ascended from the water to its ridge-top location overlooking the city. 

#2. IT HAS A NAME?

merlion statue
via Unsplash

Even though the Merlion was designed as an emblem for the then Singapore Tourism Promotion Board back in 1964 by Fraser Brunner, the Sentosa Merlion was designed by Australian artist James Martin. Completed in 1995, the Merlion was strategically positioned in the heart of the island, it stands on a base that resembles the bagua*, believed to usher in abounding prosperity and affluence.

In a Straits Times report from 8 February 1996, Martin said he intended for it to have a “strong yet benign” face with “a sense of purpose and strength”. According to another report by United Press International dated 9 July 1996, Martin’s pet name for the Sentosa Merlion was ‘Brian’.

#3. IT’S THE LARGEST MERLION IN SINGAPORE

via One Faber Group

Yes, the largest Merlion in Singapore is in Sentosa. It measures 37 meters in height as compared to other Merlions which measures 16.6 meters combined. It is even bigger than Singapore’s known landmark, the Merlion statue located at the Merlion Park, which stands at only 8.6 meters. Built in 1995, it is also the only Merlion in existence where you can enter it’s body.

#4. THE MEANING BEHIND HIS TEETH

Sentosa Merlion
via Little Day Out

The Merlion is designed to have four distinct teeth, and the Sentosa Merlion isn’t an exception to that. These are supposed to represent each of Singapore-s ethnic groups – Malays, Chinese, Indians, and Eurasians. Bringing them together symbolizes harmonious prosperity for all Singaporeans. -Littledayout/Goodyfeed/ABS CBN


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