The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is without a doubt one of Malaysia’s most prominent and treasured heritage buildings and a major historical landmark, with a history that dates back to the late 19th century. Situated opposite Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) and the Royal Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur, the building was inaugurated in 1897 and was named after the reigning sultan of Selangor at the time.
Designed by AC Norman, a notable British architect who was also responsible for the construction of Jamek Mosque and the National Textiles Museum, the Moorish-style architecture of the building incorporated a blend of British and Islamic touch, depicting Malaysia’s cultural diversity and historical legacy.
Constructed using red bricks, the building has three towers that outline its architecture and boasts tall white arches, a grand porch, curved colonnades and two domes that further enrich the visual of the building, as well as a domineering 41.2-m high clock tower that was designed to replicate the Big Ben.
The building was initially used to centralise administrative offices by the British administration, and was known as Government Offices in its early years. It had also once housed Malaysia’s superior courts – the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Court of Appeals and the High Court of Malaya.
The building has stood the test of time and has been a part of many historical events of the country, including the glorious declaration of independence of Malaya on 31 August 1957 and the illustrious lowering of the British Union Jack. It also serves as the backdrop of Malaysia’s annual Independence Day parades, which takes place at Dataran Merdeka, where thousands of Malaysians and foreign tourists would gather to join in the celebration.
Today, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is a popular tourist spot. With its unique design that reflects the historical heritage of Malaysia, it serves as the perfect background for your holiday photos.
How to get there
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is located along Jalan Raja and opposite Dataran Merdeka. You can take the LRT and alight at the Masjid Jamek station; the building is only a 10-minute walk away.