SINGAPORE, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced here Saturday that Singapore will gazette two new National Monuments - the Singapore River Bridges and the Padang, according to a press release by the National Heritage Board.
Located at the historic mouth of the Singapore River, the Cavenagh, Anderson and Elgin Bridges are the three most historic and architecturally impressive bridges which illustrate Singapore's growth as a trading port and city.
The Padang, an open space in the heart of the civic district since 1822, witnessed many important events in the history of Singapore, including the first National Day Parade (NDP) in 1966, and is the venue for the upcoming NDP on Aug. 9.
With the upcoming gazettes that will bring the city-state's total national monuments to 74, the bridges and the Padang will be accorded the highest level of preservation, in view of their national significance at a time when Singapore commemorates its Bicentennial this year, said the press release.
The bridges will continue to be used for daily business, even as they are protected from future redevelopment. Moreover, the gazette will not change the Padang's current use, whether for sports and recreation, or as part of national events such as the National Day Parade, according to the press release.
Jean Wee, Director of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments division of the National Heritage Board, said, The Padang and the Singapore River Bridges have been pivotal to Singapore's early years.
Cavenagh bridge (built in 1869) is the oldest bridge to still span the river. The gazette of Cavenagh, Anderson and Elgin Bridges as an ensemble gives recognition to the technological advancements in early bridge construction. Functionally, they supported Singapore's expanding trade interests, as well as physically linked the commercial and government quarters.
According to her, the Padang was the de facto town square of sorts. People would gather there for milestone events throughout the course of our nation's history.