Esplanade Singapore refers to the reclaimed area along Marina Bay near the mouth of the Singapore River. It holds the location of some of the most interesting tourist spots in the city: the Queen Elizabeth Walk, the Esplanade Park, and the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. In earlier times, when people say “Esplanade”, they meant the place fronting City Hall, which at present is known as Padang. The present day Esplanade only got its name when the area was reclaimed in 1943.
The Queen Elizabeth Walk borders the Esplanade Park in downtown Singapore. This stretch of promenade was known by different names before being given its present name. In the late 1800s, the area underwent further reclamation along with the building of a sea wall. As a result, a pedestrian seaside road was created, and it was called New Esplanade Road. In 1906, King Edward VII visited Singapore with his brother Prince Arthur the Duke of Connaught. In honor of the Duke, New Esplanade Road was given a new name – Connaught Drive – the year after their visit. When Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953, Singapore celebrated the event by improving and beautifying Connaught Drive and renaming it the Queen Elizabeth Walk.
Esplanade Singapore is also famous for the Esplanade Park, which is within the 266-hectare downtown core of the city-state. Adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Walk, the park is a part of the area that was reclaimed in 1922. Being one of the oldest parks in Singapore, Esplanade Park was developed in 1943 and is the site for a number of historical landmarks: war memorials the Cenotaph and the former Indian National Army Monument, the Lim Bo Seng Memorial, and the Tan Kim Seng Fountain. It is near City Hall and the Supreme Court. People love to go here for leisurely strolls, to get a good view of the beautiful Singapore skyline, and simply to take pictures. A number of restaurants can be found in the area.
One of the things that Esplanade Singapore is most famous for is the magnificent Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. The idea of having a performing arts center in Singapore was first conceptualized in 1989. After years of planning, the construction of the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay finally began in 1996. It was completed in 2002 and was officially opened in October 12 of the same year. With its signature twin shell domes, it houses the four-storey Theatre that seats 2,000 people and the state of the art Concert Hall that seats 1,600 people.
Other facilities of this performing arts center include the Theatre Studio, a small area for dance presentations and other theatrical performances; the Jendela, a visual arts exhibition area; and the Recital Studio, a 245-seat venue for intimate musical presentations. Truly a pride of Singapore, the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Esplanade Singapore is definitely a place worth visiting. You can have a quiet stroll along the Queen Elizabeth Walk or you can enjoy nature and visit famous historical landmarks at the Esplanade Park. You can also catch excellent shows or view artwork displays in Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.