Sri Lanka has had quite the storied history with the European powers that thrived during the colonial era. The island had many dealings and conflicts with the Portuguese and the Dutch before finally being subjugated by the British. There are plenty of locations that showcase this legacy and the Colombo Fort is one of the best.
The Colombo Fort is a 3-mile-long embankment which cordons the area that is now referred to as the Fort and Pettah. This was originally a structure that was built by the Portuguese as they sought to consolidate their power over the maritime provinces of the island. Later on, the Dutch would take over the fort and continue to develop it, using it both as a defensive location and as a base for governance. Many of the notable buildings that are still around today were built during this period, and they make for some great sightseeing even today.
You can start off by taking a trip to the Wolvendaal Church which sit atop a small hill in Pettah. The Church is still open to visitors making it one of the oldest churches in the country that is still in operation. After this, you can head on over to the Dutch Period Museum. This fantastic museum holds many relics and trinkets dating back to colonial times. It’s an excellent way to piece together the rich history that existed between the Sinhalese and the Dutch centuries ago.
The Old Colombo Dutch Hospital was built all the way back in 1681 – this makes it one of the oldest buildings found anywhere in Colombo. While it once served as a place of healing, the hospital has now been transformed into a vibrant shopping precinct. This is the ideal place to stop by a grab a souvenir for yourself to remember all the adventures you had in Colombo. It’s an even better stop to make if you’re feeling peckish as there are a number of fantastic eateries to choose from in the complex. This includes the famed Ministry of Crab – the best place in the city to try out some delectable seafood.