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Albert Street, located in the Rochor area, begins from the junction of Queen Street and New Bugis Street and ends at Selegie Road. It was named after Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria of England. Hindus have performed the annual firewalking ceremony of Theemithi on this street until the ritual was moved to the Sri Mariamman Temple in 1840.

History[]

Albert Street forms junctions with Waterloo Street, Bencoolen Street, Prinsep Street and Short Street. In March 1858, the municipal commissioners of Singapore named the street in honour of Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria of England. Prior to this, the street was just an unnamed side road located between Selegie Street and Waterloo Street that led to Rochor Road. Theemithi, the Hindu firewalking ceremony was originally performed on this street because of the street's proximity to Serangoon Road and the presence of a large Indian community. The ritual was later moved to the Sri Mariamman Temple on South Bridge Road in 1840. In the early days, the street was a part of Kampong Bencoolen, an enclave of Muslims from Bencoolen, Sumatra.

Albert Street was originally lined with two-storey shophouses, and was famous for its Chinese restaurants, bars, medicine shops and food stalls. The most sought after eatery along this street was the Wing Seong Restaurant, commonly called Fatty's Restaurant. It moved to Albert Complex in 1986. Albert Street has been converted into a pedestrian mall and is no longer open to vehicular traffic. The Bugis-Rochor area is now an arts and entertainment hub.

Key features[]

Such is the fame of Albert Street that many of its buildings have taken on the name of the street. The Albert Court Hotel is made of pre-war conservation shophouses and features Peranakan interior décor and furniture. Albert Court is a mall made up of two rows of 30 refurbished shophouses, most of them eateries. The 20-storey Burlington Square, which comprises an office building, retail space and three residential towers, stands at the junction of Albert and Bencoolen streets.

Other commercial buildings on Albert Street include Sim Lim Square, Fu Lu Shou Complex and Albert Centre.

Variant Names[]

Chinese names[]

  • Kam pong mang ku lu (Hokkien) or “Kampong Bencoolen” which means "Bencoolen Village".
  • Ba mua lu koi (Hokkien) which means “the street where sesame seeds are squeezed for their oil”.
  • Mo ma-yau kaai (Cantonese) or “grind oil of sesamum street” which means “the street where oil is expressed from sesamum”.

Tamil name[]

Thimiri thidal which means “the place where people tread on fire”.

See also[]

References[]

  • Naidu Ratnala Thulaja, "Albert Street", Singapore Inforpedia, National Library Board, 2003[1].
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