Singapore was first mentioned in a 3rd century Chinese account which described Singapore as "Pu-luo-chung" ("island at the end of a peninsula"). By the 14th century, Singapore had become part of the Sri Vijayan empire and was known as Temasek ("Sea Town").
During the 11th century, this small but strategically-placed island had earned a new name - "Singa Pura" ("Lion City"). According to legend, a visiting Sri Vijayan prince saw an animal he mistook for a lion and Singapore's modern day name was born.
Then, during the 18th century, the British saw the need for a strategic "halfway house" to refit, feed and protect the fleet of their growing empire, as well as to forestall any advances by the Dutch in the region. Sir Stamford Raffles established Singapore as a trading station.
By 1824, just five years after the founding of modern Singapore, the population had grown from 150 to 10,000.
In 1832, Singapore became the centre of government for the Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca and Singapore. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the advent of telegraph and steamship increased Singapore's importance as a centre for the expanding trade between East and West.
|Singapore had been the site of military action in the 14th century when it became embroiled in the struggle for the Malay Peninsula between Siam (now Thailand), and the Java-based Majapahit Empire.|
History provided by VisitingSingapore.com and photo courtesy of asiainfo.org