On my second day in Singapore, I decided to make a tour, on my own, to the nearby Johor Bahru, the first Malaysian town (and the capital of the state of Johor), across the Causeway, from Singapore. After breakfast at a MacDonald’s outlet, I traveled all the way to the Queen Street Bus Terminal (also known as the Ban San Bus Terminal), a centralized location for commuters traveling to Johor Bahru.
Along the way to the terminal, I passed a couple of noteworthy Roman Catholic churches. The attractive, Gothic-style St. Joseph’s Church was originally built from 1851-1853 by Portuguese Rev. Vincente de Santo Catharina. The present church, built from 1906-1912 by the notable firm Swan & MacLaren, has a portico supported by 4 columns; a central, octagonal tower capped by a dome and flanked by 2 smaller towers and beautifully crafted stained glass windows.
The Renaissance-style, graceful and charming Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Singapore and the seat of its archbishop, was completed on June 6, 1847 with funds collected by French parish priest Fr. Jean-Marie Beurel. Designed by Denis Lesley McSwiney, it was elevated as a cathedral in on February 14, 1897. It has 6 entrances, Palladian-style porticos, a high timber ceiling and round arches. On June 28, 1973, the cathedral was gazetted as a National Monument.
St. Joseph’s Church: 143 Victoria St., Singapore 188020. Tel: (65) 6336 2664 and (65) 6338 3167.
Cathedral of the Good Shepherd: cor. Queen St. and Bras Basah Rd., Singapore 188533. Tel: (65) 6337 2036.