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Raffles Statue

Raffles Place, located in the Downtown Core and Central region, features some of the tallest buildings and landmarks in Singapore. Under Singapore’s founder Sir Stamford Raffles’ Town Plan in 1822, the hilly area at the southern side of the Singapore River was levelled to fill up the nearby swamps. It became the Commercial Square, and was renamed in 1858 as Raffles Place.

Originally a hill, Raffles Place was no more than a quiet green when it was first developed from 1823 to 1824. As the economy of Singapore grew, small buildings sprang up around the square, housing mercantile offices, banks and trading companies. 

Despite being the target of destruction during World War II, the area has managed to survive and saw the setting up of the two oldest department stores which are still around today: Robinson's and John Little. Some of the first banks to operate in Raffles Place were HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank. On 8 August 1988, Singapore's then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew officially declared opened, the world's tallest building then, outside of the USA, the 60-storey OUB Centre at Raffles Place.

Because of its commercial character and high real estate value, the area has undergone many changes over a period of more than 180 years, but Raffles Place has remained and still is the heart of the financial district in Singapore.