The iconic Merlion is no stranger to locals and visitors to Singapore, it is afterall the mythical national icon of the city-state. The Merlion statue which stands tall at 8.6 meters and weighs 70 tonnes, famously resides in Merlion Park continuously spouting water from its mouth and is surrounded by the skycrapers that make up the popular Singaporean skyline.
The Merlion may be popular because of its half fish and half lion shape but it is very symbolic to the country too. The body of the Merlion symbolises Singapore's humble beginnings as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, (meaning 'sea town' in Old Javanese). The head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura (meaning 'lion city’ in Malay).
It was built in 1972 at the mouth of the Singapore River to welcome visitors. However when the Esplanade Bridge was constructed in 1997, views of the Merlion statue was obscured causing authorities to move it 120 meters to what is now Merlion Park where it overlooks the beautiful Marina Bay.
Did you know there are only seven approved Merlion statues in Singapore? Whilst this is the original one, there are others that can be found at popular locations such as Sentosa Island and Mount Faber.
Visitors always take an obligatory photo with the Merlion, have you ever visited Singapore and taken one too?