Campus of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) and Saint Nicholas Girls' School at Victoria Street

The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus was established in 1854 at Victoria Street by a group of Catholic nuns with the support of Father Jean-Marie Beurel, a French priest who was active in Singapore in the mid 19th century. Originally an orphanage and later a school for European and Eurasian girls, the convent was able to gradually expand its facilities with Beurel’s aid in acquiring surrounding properties and parcels of land. The first major structure built was a two-storey building completed in 1856 to serve as the orphanage. A Gothic-inspired chapel was constructed in 1903 and further extensions added in the early 1950s. The convent continued to operate until 1983 when it shifted out to enable the redevelopment of the site for commercial purposes. The chapel and some of the outlying buildings have been preserved, now known collectively as CHIJMES.The origins of the Saint Nicholas Girls’ School can be traced to the establishment of the Victoria Girls' School in 1933 by the Infant Jesus Sisters, a group of French Catholic nuns whose order was founded in 1666 by Father Nicolas Barré, to serve as the Chinese section of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ). CHIJ was a school and orphanage set up by the Sisters in 1854 to cater to Eurasian and European girls. The Victoria Girls’ School was housed inside the building of the former Hotel Van Dyke, which was located near to the CHIJ at Victoria Street. The school, then known as the Saint Nicholas Girls’ School, shifted to the premises of the CHIJ in 1949. Both schools had to move out of the Victoria Street campus in 1983 due to tunnelling works for the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. Saint Nicholas Girls’ School eventually relocated to a permanent new campus at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2, Street 13.