Sunday, December 29, 2019

Independence Memorial Hall and Museum, Colombo

The Independence Memorial Hall
The Independence Memorial Hall is a national monument located in the Independence Square in Colombo 7, Sri Lanka. It was erected by the Government of Ceylon (present Sri Lanka) to commemorate the achievement of the independence of Ceylon from Britain on 4 February 1948. The hall also houses the Independence Memorial Museum.

The present building has been built at the location where the state opening of the first parliament of Ceylon was held on 4 February 1948.

History
To symbolize the independence gained from Great Britain, the government of Ceylon decided to build an independence memorial building. The design of the building which is loosely following the architectural plan of the ancient Magul Maduwa, the Royal Audience Hall of the Kandyan Kingdom, was planned by Wynne-Jones (Pieris, 2012). The construction works of the memorial hall was begun with the laying of foundation stone for the building on 4 February 1949.

On 20 April 1983, the custody of the memorial hall was entrusted to the Cultural Ministry by a decision taken by the cabinet ministers. 

Building
The building which is built in concrete is an open pavilion hall lying on one-story podium housing the Independence Memorial Museum. The pillars of the open pavilion carry the two-pitched concrete roof and are decorated with traditional motifs. Four Pun-kalasas (pots of plenty) symbolizing the wealth and prosperity are found at the corners of the pavilion. The area of the ground floor of the hall is approximately 10,000 sq, ft.

At one side of the building is a statue of D. S. Senanayake, the first prime minister of the country. The statue is guarded by four lions similar in appearance to the lions at Yapahuwa.

The total area of the land of the Independence Square is 2.43 acres.

Independence Memorial Museum
The museum which is administered by the Department of National Museums is located in the basement of the memorial hall. Opened for the public on 3 February 2008, the museum displays many statues and display boards of national heroes including political leaders, clergies and the lay patriots who struggled for the country's independence.

The statue of D. S. Senanayake The memorial hall
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References
1) Pieris, A., 2012. Architecture and nationalism in Sri Lanka: The trouser under the cloth. Routledge. p.114. 

Location Map
This page was last updated on 23 February 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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