Saturday, 14 September 2019

Maritime and Naval History Museum (Trincomalee)

Maritime and Naval History Museum, Trincomalee
The Maritime and Naval History Museum (Sinhala: ත්‍රිකුණාමලය සමුද්‍ර හා නාවික ඉතිහාස කෞතුකාගාරය) is situated in Trincomalee town, Sri Lanka.

The museum has been established in an old building used as the official residence of the Dutch Naval Commissioner in Trincomalee.

Official residence of the Dutch Naval Commissioner
During the period between 1640 – 1796, most of the coastal areas in Sri Lanka were controlled by the Dutch. The Dutch constructed this two-story building following their traditional architectural practices, in Trincomalee during this period to be used as the official residence of the Naval Commissioner. After the British assumed the control over the all-island (1795-1948 A.D.), they used this building as the official residence of a civil service official designated as a commissioner.

Subsequently, the building has been unused and the government of Sri Lanka renovated the building to be used as the Trincomalee British Center (the Kachcheri). However, the Kachcheri was brought to two buildings located inside Fort Fredrick, and as a result of that, this building once again became a deserted place. When Ranasinghe Premadasa became the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1977-1986), he tried to renovate this building but the efforts carried out during this period were not successful.

Later, this building and the land was handed over to Eastern University to be used as a university property. The university used this building as a canteen and started to build a new lecture hall on the premises. However, the war between LTTE (a rebel group designated as a terrorist organization) and the government forces in the area resulted in the end of the university activities and therefore, this building and the land again became an uninhabited place. During this war season, the building was swallowed and ruined by the wild.

Once again, in 2008, with financial assistance from the government of the Netherlands, the Sri Lanka Navy under the guidance of the Archaeological Department started the restoration work of the building. The conserved building was finally converted to a museum and declared open to the public on 3 February 2013, by the then Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksha.

The museum preserves a collection of items that explaining the country's maritime history, marine biodiversity and the history of the local naval affairs.

1) Information boards at the Maritime and Naval History Museum, Trincomalee.

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This page was last updated on 20 August 2022


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