The Armenian Church

The Armenian Church as its plainly called is the oldest Christian church of Singapore and its not only the church itself which gives chance for a beautiful time but also its wonderful and big garden where you can have a great walk or simply a nice relaxing time. Located in Hill Street the scene of Armenian Church is catchy.

The Irish architect George Drumgoole Cooleman designed the beautiful and rustic building of the Armenian Church. The whole church was built back in 1835 and it is widely regarded as the best work of the architect. The Armenian Church is dedicated to the first Armenian monk called St. Gregory, the Illuminator but somehow, had been left with the simple name as its called today. Indeed the church was built for the Armenian immigrants who needed and wanted to have their own place of worship in Singapore. Therefore, several steps have been taken and the ground of where the Armenian Church lies had been chosen for the first Christian church of the city.

The building of the Armenian Church is very impressive. The architect have been a huge fan of the Armenian architecture but also mixed British motives in the designs of the building mixing it with some elements, which serve the building very well because of the tropical climate. Having been built in a Neo-Classicist style containing huge Doric columns around the entrance with its wide verandas that are great in the tropical climate where sometimes shadow has a great importance. The built-in shields are protecting the windows of the church from the heavy tropical rains. Although the inside furniture is made out of wood in order to follow the traditions, there are also several rattan inclusions which serve a lot better in order to cool the body when its really hot both in and outside. The beautiful white building of the Armenian Church of Singapore has been declared a national monument in 1973.

The church looks great also inside with a beautiful vaulted ceiling and a cupola, there is also a beautiful altar depicting Jesus and the prophets in the scene of the last supper. The Memorial garden includes the tombs of Armenian citizens who died in Singapore. Interestingly, Singapore used to have quite an important group of Armenians living and working there, which also include the Sarkies Brothers, the original founders of the world famous British style Raffles Hotel, Vanda Joaquim who hybridised the orchid which has become the national flower of Singapore named “Miss Joaquim” and Catchick Moses who took part in the founding of Singapore’s national newspaper the “Straits Time” and many other important personalities who were great helpers of Singapore’s social and cultural life. The tombs in the Memorial Garden were brought from the Bukit Timah cemetery, so the garden is not the cemetery but a real memorial place.

So, if you are in Singapore, take some time to visit the Armenian Church there, this beautiful and historical place, being the city’s very first Christian church. There is free admission to the church and to the gardens of the Armenian Church every day of the week, on Sunday there is a Christian mass held here.

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