Fort Canning Hill

Singapore, Singapore

Fort Canning Hill


Fort Canning Hill, formerly Government Hill, Singapore Hill and Bukit Larangan (Forbidden Hill in Malay), is a small hill, about 48 metres (157 ft) high, in the southeast portion of the island city-state of Singapore, within the Central Area that forms Singapore's central business district. It is named after Viscount Charles John Canning, the first Viceroy of India. Although small in physical size, it has a long history intertwined with that of the city-state due to its location as the highest elevation within walking distance to the city's civic district, within the Downtown Core. It is also a popular location for exhibitions, concerts and outdoor recreation.

The Malays called the hill Bukit Larangan or Forbidden Hill since olden times. This is due to the belief that it is the place where the kings of ancient Singapore were laid to rest, and it was believed to be haunted. It is also believed that a palace once stood on the hill. A settlement on the hill in the 14th century was referred to as Ban Zu (from the Malay pancur) by the Yuan dynasty traveller Wang Dayuan. Later, Sir Stamford Raffles built his residence there, which was also used by other Residents and Governors. It became known as Government Hill until it was renamed Fort Canning in 1861, when a military fort was built on the site. Today it is the location of both the Fort Canning Reservoir and Fort Canning Park.

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