Singapore's lost palaces: Researcher locates 20 former istanas

Researcher locates 20 former istanas, once owned by various Malay communities' royals

Heritage researcher Sarafian Salleh holding an undated picture of Istana Engku Khalid when Radin Mas Primary School was operating out of it. The Pearl@Mount Faber condominium now occupies the spot. Mr Sarafian learnt that Singapore was once home to a
Heritage researcher Sarafian Salleh holding an undated picture of Istana Engku Khalid when Radin Mas Primary School was operating out of it. The Pearl@Mount Faber condominium now occupies the spot. Mr Sarafian learnt that Singapore was once home to as many as 30 istanas after studying archival research and conducting interviews.ST PHOTO: KELLY HUI

Singaporeans generally know of two istanas in Singapore - the office of the Republic's President and Istana Kampong Glam, the present-day Malay Heritage Centre.

Heritage buffs might be familiar with another two: the Istana Woodneuk and the torn-down Istana Tyersall. These derelict buildings near the Singapore Botanic Gardens were once the palaces of Johor's former Temenggong Abu Bakar Daeng Ibrahim.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2020, with the headline 'Singapore's lost palaces'. Print Edition | Subscribe