Exploring the Attractions of Chijmes: A Guide to Singapore’s Historic Landmark

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Chijmes, a sprawling complex of quaint buildings situated in the heart of Singapore, is a historical landmark that should not be missed. From the stunning Gothic-inspired architecture to the diverse range of dining, entertainment, and shopping options, Chijmes has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll guide you through the attractions that make Chijmes such a must-visit destination.

A Brief History of Chijmes

Chijmes, a cultural and lifestyle destination in Singapore, has a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. Originally home to the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, it served as a centre for education and shelter for women and children.

During the Second World War, the convent was a refuge for those seeking safety and shelter. The nuns who lived there risked their lives to protect the vulnerable, and their bravery and selflessness are still remembered today.

After the war, the convent continued to serve the community until it was eventually closed in the 1980s. However, the beautiful buildings and architecture of Chijmes were not forgotten, and the area was transformed into the vibrant cultural and lifestyle destination that it is today.

Image source: Lucius

The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus

The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture, with its white facade and intricate details. The building has been beautifully preserved and restored, and visitors can take a step back in time as they explore the peaceful courtyard and admire the stunning architecture.

Inside the building, visitors can learn about the history of the convent and the important role it played in Singapore’s past. The chapel, with its beautiful stained glass windows and ornate altar, is a particularly impressive sight.

The Caldwell House

The Caldwell House is another historic landmark in Chijmes and is a testament to Singapore’s colonial past. Once the residence of the convent’s headmistress, the building has been lovingly restored and now houses a variety of art galleries and unique boutiques.

Visitors can wander through the galleries, admiring the works of local artists and designers, or browse the boutiques for one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs. The Caldwell House is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in art, history, or architecture.

Overall, Chijmes is a fascinating and beautiful destination that showcases Singapore’s rich history and culture. Whether you’re interested in architecture, or art, or simply want to soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant area, Chijmes is a must-visit destination.

Architectural Highlights of Chijmes

Aside from its historical significance, Chijmes is also celebrated for its stunning architecture, with Gothic-inspired elements seen throughout the complex.

Image source: Jean-Michel Berard

The Gothic Revival Chapel

The Gothic Revival Chapel is one of the most breathtaking buildings in Chijmes. Its soaring arched ceiling and intricate stained-glass windows make it the perfect spot for quiet contemplation or a peaceful wedding ceremony.

The Chapel was built in 1904 and was originally known as the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Chapel. It was designed by the famous architect, Swan & Maclaren, who also designed other notable buildings in Singapore such as the Raffles Hotel and Victoria Theatre.

The Chapel’s architecture is a perfect example of the Gothic Revival style, with its pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and intricate tracery. The Chapel’s interior is equally impressive, with its beautiful stained-glass windows depicting scenes from the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ.

The Intricate Facade and Courtyard

The intricately designed facade and peaceful courtyard of Chijmes make it a popular spot for photography. You can’t miss the gorgeous brick arches, ornate cornices and decorative ironwork that make this space truly Instagram-worthy.

The facade of Chijmes is a beautiful example of neo-Gothic architecture, with its pointed arches, finials, and decorative carvings. The courtyard is equally impressive, with its lush greenery and tranquil fountains. It’s the perfect place to relax and soak in the beauty of this historic complex.

The Stained Glass Windows

The stained glass windows in Chijmes’ buildings are truly a sight to behold. The beautifully crafted designs and stunning colour schemes add an ethereal quality to the complex’s interior.

The stained glass windows were created by some of the best artisans of their time, using traditional techniques that have been passed down for generations. The windows depict scenes from the Bible, as well as portraits of saints and other religious figures. The intricate details and vibrant colours of the windows are a testament to the skill and dedication of the artists who created them.

Overall, the architecture of Chijmes is a testament to Singapore’s rich cultural heritage and the skill of the craftsmen who built it. Whether you’re a history buff or an architecture enthusiast, Chijmes is a must-visit destination that will leave you in awe of its beauty and grandeur.

Dining and Entertainment Options at Chijmes

Looking for some great food near Chijmes? Here are a few of our favorites:

Gyu-Kaku (CHIJMES): A Japanese yakiniku restaurant with a wide variety of meats to choose from, including wagyu beef, pork belly, and chicken. The meats are grilled over charcoal, giving them a smoky flavor. The restaurant also offers a variety of side dishes, such as rice, vegetables, and dipping sauces.

Coriander Leaf @ CHIJMES: A modern Indian restaurant with a menu that features both traditional and contemporary dishes. The restaurant uses fresh, seasonal ingredients and the flavors are well-balanced. The service is excellent and the atmosphere is cozy and inviting.

Renga-Ya: A Japanese izakaya restaurant with a menu that features small plates, such as skewers, dumplings, and sashimi. The restaurant also offers a variety of sake and other alcoholic beverages. The atmosphere is lively and fun, making it a great place to enjoy a few drinks with friends.

El Mero Mero Mexican Taqueria: A Mexican taqueria that serves authentic tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. The tortillas are made fresh and the meats are grilled to perfection. The restaurant also offers a variety of salsas and sides.


Chijmes stands as a testament to Singapore’s rich cultural heritage. The stunning architecture, incredible dining options, unique shopping experiences, and live entertainment make it an excellent destination for both locals and travellers seeking a taste of Singapore’s historic past. Now that you’ve read our guide, you’re ready to explore all that Chijmes has to offer!