Merdeka Bridge Lions

Rodolfo Nolli

First placed in Singapore: 1954

now at SAFTI-MI, the Armed Forces Officer's College

The lions were placed at the Merdeka Bridge, part of the Nicoll Highway, now more or less taken for granted, but a big deal upon its opening. The lions were moved (which year?) when the bridge was renovated, and they wound up in front of the seafood restaurants in Kallang Bay. They were later moved to SAFTI-MI, in Tuas.

Patron: Singapore Municipality (?)

A pair (of course) of lions, one of Nolli's last contributions to Singapore's visual environment, before his retirement in Switzerland. The stylization of the lions' mane resembles the lion profile that served as the logo of the Singapore Armed Forces for a time.

Text of the Label:

These lions were commissioned by the Public Works Department in 1955 during the construction o f the new bridge across the Kallang River. They are identical in design, and were probably cast from the same mould. Their heads are turned slightly to the right to suit their intended placement positions in the centre median at each end of the bridge facing oncoming traffic. When the bridge was officially opened in 1956 it was named the “Merdeka Bridge”. The lions were thereafter named as “the Merdeka Lions”. The lions remained in their respective positions on the Bridge for ten years until its widening to accommodate additional centre traffic lanes in 1966, at which they were relocated to Stadium Walk near the entrance of Kallang Park. In 1987 the Public Works Department transferred the Lions to the Ministry of Defence for eventual relocation in a site of public prominence at the new SAFTI Military Institute.

Last updated: Dec-5-2020

Merdeka Bridge Lions

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