Singapore is an extraordinary travel destination where you will experience an interesting mixture of regional culture, architecture and lifestyle. For a place its size Singapore offers a lot to a traveller, and if time is on your side there are many hundreds of different places of interest to visit, steeped in history and captivating in terms of place. Among these fascinating places, the Changi Chapel and Museum is a must-visit in Singapore where you will witness a story set in stone about people who stood up with faith and dignity through depths of adversity.
The story of the Chapel begins in the dark days of World War II. When British-ruled Singapore fell to the Japanese Imperial Army, the victorious invaders rounded up hundreds of Allied servicemen; mostly British and Australian, and a large number of civilians as well into the Changi Prison as prisoners of war. The conditions were abysmal, and with the hammer blows of starvation, disease, and punishment falling hard daily, it seemed there was no hope for the captured. But in their hearts they did not give in to the overbearing might of the Japanese oppression, and held strong to their faith and spirit. Thus, the Changi Chapel came into life in 1944 through the unrelenting effort and faith-bound will of the POWs; a place where they would come together as children of God and pray for the strength to last through the horrors of war.
The Changi Chapel was entirely built out of material salvaged from the prison itself by the prisoners, down to the ornamentation of the hallowed place. British airman Stanley Warren painstakingly painted the murals of the chapel, and another British serviceman, Sgt Stodgen, crafted a singular shell of artillery into the cross which sat upon the altar. The original building was moved to Australia in 1988 and now stands proud in the grounds of the Royal Military College in Duntroon, Canberra. The Changi Chapel and Museum you will see today is a replica of the original chapel recreated in 2001 during prison expansion, and the surrounding museum houses many records and memorabilia from the days of Japanese occupation; a testament to the courage and perseverance of the prisoners in the face of overwhelming odds.
As Changi is one of the major prisons in the country, it is relatively easy to locate when you are in Singapore. The Changi Chapel and Museum sits one kilometre away from the Changi Prison since 2001, and travel is possible in a taxi or bus. Just make a Singapore hotel reservationclose-by, and you will also find that since Changi is an active neighbourhood, there are many other places of interest to visit, shop and dine at. Those in search of a boutique hotel Singaporethe likes of Copthorne King’s Hotel Singapore; will exceptional lodging options on your stay be it long or brief. Be sure to visit the Changi Chapel and Museum to experience a humane story of courage, hope and faith that unfolded here long ago, and you will find that the inspiring spirit of the prisoners will linger in your heart even after you say goodbye to this remarkable little place.