The Merlion Story

The merlion statue portray the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Its name comes from a portmanteau of mermaid and lion. Mr. Fraser Brunner designed the merlion for the Singapore Tourism Board in 1964 and was used as the STB logo until 1997. The Merlion continues to be a Singapore iconic symbol which appears frequently in STB-approved souvenirs.

The Singapore Merlion icon was promoted by the Singapore Tourism Board's publicity campaign, the lion head and fish body of the creature recalls the story of the legendary Sang Nila Utama, who saw a lion while hunting on an island, en route to Malacca, eventually named the island Temasek, a precursor to Singapore.

Merlion statue

The original Merlion statue stood at the opening of the Singapore River. On 15 September 1972 the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, officiated the installation ceremony of the Merlion statue . In 2002, the statue was relocated to its current site that fronts Marina Bay with the completion of the Esplanade Bridge in 1997. The statue measures 8.6 metres high and weighs 70 tonnes. A taller replica can be found on Sentosa Island. The original Merlion statue was built from cement fondue by the late Singapore craftsman, Lim Nang Seng.

Other Merlion statues

There are five official Merlions in Singapore approved by the Singapore Tourism Board. These include the two at Merlion Park, one a smaller Merlion and the other the main Merlion (both by Lim Nang Seng in 1972).