The Origins


Singapore’s Most Well-Known Icon

The Guardian of Prosperity is inspired by the legendary Merlion, a mythical creature with a lion head and fish body. An embodiment of Singapore’s history as an important seaport, the Merlion’s head depicts the folklore of Prince Sang Nila Utama’s discovery of the Lion (singa) and City (pura), whereas its fishtail symbolises the fishing village of ‘Temasek’, also known as ‘sea-town’ in Javanese. Today, the majestic Sentosa Merlion is an iconic statue that have attracted, and is still attracting, countless visitors all around the world.


Design Elements of the Sentosa Merlion

Among Singapore’s Merlion statues, the Sentosa Merlion is the largest and tallest at an imposing height of 37 metres. It is also the only one that allows you to enter it to discover its exciting origin and stories. Designed and sculpted by Australian artist James Martin, the Sentosa Merlion was completed in 1995. Strategically positioned in the heart of the island, it stands on a base that resembles the bagua*, believed to usher in abounding prosperity and affluence. Each of the creature’s 320 scales is shaped like the bagua too. And if you pay close attention to the intriguing details inside, you will notice that the Sentosa Merlion’s teeth represent the various ethnic groups in Singapore – the Malays, Chinese, Indians and Eurasians – signifying a harmonious prosperity for all the citizens of Singapore.


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