Quick Facts about Merdeka Square
Brief History of the Merdeka Square
- 1870s': the capital of Selangor moved from Klang to Kuala Lumpur and vegetable plots were turned into a padang or field. Used by the police forces for their parades and thus was called the Parade Ground. The Police Headquarters were built on Bluff Road, located on a small hill now called Bukit Aman.
- 1880's: The founding of Selangor Club. Cricket and rugby were played regularly on the Padang.
- 1926: Worst flood of Kuala Lumpur. Currency notes from the Chartered Bank were left to dry in the Padang.
- 1957 Lowering of the Union Flag and the raising of the Malayan Flag during independence.
- 1990: After major renovation, renamed Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square. The renovation was in preparation for Visit Malaysia 1990. It was officially opened by the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohammad.
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Address of Merdeka Square:
Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur
- Location: latitude (3.148 degrees)
- longitude (101.6937 degrees)
The Independence Square is located in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. It was originally the Parade Ground, then the Selangor Club Padang and today the Merdeka Square. The Padang, which means field in Malay, was the focal point of much activity during the colonial era. Much of commerce centered around this area and as a result most of the heritage buildings are close by.
Originally owned by the Royal Selangor Club until 1987 when it was acquired by DBKL or City Hall. In place of the padang a piece of land at Bukit Kiara was given to the Club which now forms the Royal Selangor Club Kiara Annexe.
Here at midnight 30th August 1957, the Union Flag was lowered for the last time in Colonial British Malaya. And the Malayan flag was proudly raised for the first time.
2006: Amazing Race Asia 1 starting point.
Above the Independence Square
The field with its beautifully kept lawn. This is where cricket matches were held in the evenings during the colonial days.
Today, many important cricket matches are still held here. However, cricket is not popular in Malaysia unlike in other Commonwealth countries.
100 meter flagpole.
Reputedly the tallest in the world. There you'll see the Malaysian Flag, the Jalur Gemilang meaning stripes of glory, waving proudly at you. Water fountain erected 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
Beneath the Independence Square
Here you'll find the Plaza Putra with Food Court, cineplex and tourist information counters. There are also 600 car parking bay at the base of the Dataran.
Interesting sites around the Merdeka Square
- Royal Selangor Club House - with it rich history
- Sultan Abdul Samad Building Building - one of the most photographed buildings in Malaysia
- National History Museum - a good collection of exhibits from pre-history to the present
- Kuala Lumpur Library - excellent collection of books, ebooks, audio and video materials
- St Marys Cathedral - a neo-Gothic architecture and a functioning Anglican church built 1909
- Bukit Aman or Peace Hill - the equivalent of the British Scotland Yard
- DBKL - City Hall of Kuala Lumpur
- Bank Negara Malaysia - Malaysia's central bank.
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