This historic building complex has quite an interesting history. What started out as a Catholic convent in the 19th century, the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (abb. CHIJ), is now a restored events venue that hosts a range of events. From elegant weddings and corporate events to mesmerising Candlelight concerts, CHIJMES is a stunning backdrop to any celebration and occasion.
Situated in the CHIJMES complex in the Central Area, CHIJMES Hall is within walking distance to important cultural landmarks, including the National Gallery Singapore and the National Museum of Singapore. The nearest MRT stations are City Hall MRT, Bras Basah MRT and Esplanade MRT and there are plenty bus lines that pass nearby, as well.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about CHIJMES Hall
1. From humble beginnings to great expansions
Originally constructed in the mid-19th century, CHIJMES began as a convent known as the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ). The complex was built by Father Charles-Bénédict Nain to house an orphanage, a girls’ school and a chapel. The name CHIJMES is an acronym delivered from the convent’s original name. Over time, the convent expanded, incorporating new buildings and facilities, including the Gothic-style chapel, which became the focal point of the complex.
2. An architectural gem with a diverse aesthetics
What makes CHIJMES really special is its stunning architecture, which features a mix of Gothic, Romanesque and Victorian styles. The complex is centered around a picturesque courtyard that is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a peaceful oasis in the heart of Singapore. As for the complex’ chapel—CHIJMES Hall—its breathtaking interiors feature 30,000 pieces of Belgian stained glass and 648 column capitals, carved with motifs of birds and flowers.
3. The CHIJMES was also affected by WWII
During the Japanese bombings of 1942, prior to the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, many buildings were destroyed and several CHIJMES spaces were also affected. The baby house, the chapel and the windows around the high altar were devastated. About 40 of the Sisters with the orphans and teachers were deported to a camp in Bahau, Malaysia. Singapore remained occupied by the Japanese for the next three and a half years during which the convent was given the name Victoria Girls’ School.
You’ll be able to appreciate the ornate décor and the intricate details of the building’s interior even more as a sea of flickering candlelight will illuminate CHIJMES Hall. Whether you prefer listening to contemporary pop rock band Coldplay, or immerse yourself in your favourite magical and anime films, you’re destined to be inspired by the power of music.
What else can you do at CHIJMES Hall?
The building complex has a variety of restaurants, bars and shops located within its walls, such as Lei Garden, Honbo, Dew by Whitegrass, Señor Taco and Butado. During the holiday season, the CHIJMES complex also hosts special happenings including Light Projection Shows, film screenings, as well as Christmas and NYE celebrations. If you’re looking for a flavour-bursting bite to eat or a fun pastime in the City Area, you can always pop in and discover CHIJMES’ many spaces.
CHIJMES stands as a historic landmark renowned for its cultural significance, offering a range of event spaces, bars and restaurants and hosting stunning events like Candlelight concerts.
Candlelight has amazed the world’s biggest cities and is now bringing its talented live musicians and vocalists to Singapore’s finest venues, including CHIJMES Hall. There’s nothing like listening to your favorite songs and soundtracks surrounded by breathtaking architecture and the warmth of thousands of glowing candles.