The sun shone brightly through the clear roof of the pedestrian walk. The skies were clear. It was a hot and sunny day. I had walked a few kilometers since I reached Kuala Lumpur. It was a public holiday and I decided to take some photos of present Kuala Lumpur to be compared with the old photos of this city. As I walked towards the Merdeka Square under the hot and scorching sun, I thought of a place in Kuala Lumpur which I have never visited. I remembered that I have never been to Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, so a visit there won’t cause any harm to my plan.
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So, I walked along the pedestrian walk heading towards the Merdeka Square. There are a lot of heritage colonial buildings at the area and the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is one of them. Before this visit, I have been to the gallery’s compound twice but during both times, I was there to bring my CouchSurfing guests to take photos in front of the ‘I Love KL’ sign.
This time around, I decided to enter into the Gallery. After all, I read on the entrance that the Gallery is air-conditioned, so it will be great to take temporary refuge there from the burning heat of the sun.
The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is located in a building which was previously used as the government printing office in the 1890s before it was used as the Metropolitan Postal Security Office in 1977 and finally as the first public library of Kuala Lumpur in 1986.
The building itself is unique as it has the features of 1890s buildings in Kuala Lumpur but instead of utilising the Mughal architecture which was famous in the city during the era, its design was based on the neo-Renaissance principles with exposed bricks and large semi-circular windows decorated with keystones.
As I entered the Gallery, I was awed with the exhibitions. The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is like a mini museum but with more interactive features and modern layout. Upon entering, I passed through a section showing the history of Kuala Lumpur from its early days as a small village until it became a modern cosmopolitan city.
In this area, original footage of olden days were shown apart from paper cuttings from the past. Looking up the ceiling, timelines of Kuala Lumpur were exhibited in a nice way, giving visitors the general view of how Kuala Lumpur turned into a metropolitan city.
This two storey building also has the largest Kuala Lumpur city model. Visitors have to queue to enter as limited space is available at any time. When I entered the exhibition area, I was shocked to see how huge the city model is and how difficult it must be to build them. After a while, a short video showcasing Kuala Lumpur was played whilst we stood at the viewing area.
I found the model to be surreal. However, the only setback was the video show as the volume was not clear and the quality of the playback was quite bad. I would prefer if a staff explains what are the buildings in the model and other explanations related to the model instead of letting us figuring out which is which.
Another attraction in the Gallery is the working area of ARCH. ARCH is the producer of premium Kuala Lumpur souvenirs and also the management body of the Gallery. Before the exit, there is a souvenir shop selling ARCH-created products. So, before we exited the Gallery, we had to pass by the working area of ARCH staff which is separated with a thick glass. It was fun to watch the staff diligently and professionally create the souvenirs which would later be sold at ARCH galleries throughout Klang Valley.
So, if you visit Kuala Lumpur and want to take a break from the hot sun while touring the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, why don’t you make a quick visit to the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery?
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
No. 27, Jalan Raja
50050 Kuala Lumpur
T +6 03 2698 3333
To go to Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, take the Kelana Jaya Line or Ampang Line LRT to Masjid Jamek station. From the station, walk towards the Merdeka Square. Later, walk towards the giant flag pole until you see a huge ‘I Love KL’ board. The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is beside ‘I Love KL’. It is also within the route of the KL Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour.
For more info, visit here.
Entrance is Free.