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The Padang (Malay for 'field') is an open playing field located within the Downtown Core of the Central Area in Singapore. It was formerly known as the Padang Cricket Ground. The Padang is surrounded by several important landmarks, which include Saint Andrew's Cathedral, City Hall, the Old Supreme Court Building and the City Hall MRT Station (out of frame to the right in this composition).

Due to its prime location and historical significance, it has been used as a venue for a variety of events, including the National Day Parades in 2005 and in 2010, as well as the first ever National Day Parade held there in 1966. Since 1995, it has been planned that the NDP would be held there for every five years, the main venue for that major event is at Marina Bay Floating Stadium (formerly at the old National Stadium).

In June 1819, modern founder of Singapore, Thomas Stamford Raffles instructed the first Resident of Singapore, William Farquhar, to reserve the whole space within the Old Lines and the Singapore River (i.e. the northern bank) for public purposes. However, Farquhar found it expedient to allow European merchants to encroach the reserved space as this appeared to be the only suitable site for mercantile firms and godowns, since the southern bank was then too swampy. Farquhar also built a temporary home with an attap roof and kajang walls on the current Singapore Cricket Club site, on the edge which came to be known as Raffles Plain. When Raffles returned to the island in October 1822, he disapproved of the encroaching by mercantile interests of land he had set aside for public use. He immediately countermanded Farquhar's permits, put a stay on all buildings in the area and appointed a committee with strict and explicit instructions on how he wanted the town of Singapore to be planned. As the Esplanade plan had been broken, it was necessary to designate a new site for the town's public buildings. The area chosen was the Padang Besar or simply the Padang, as it is known today.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6299 W: 61 N: 18277] (82487)
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