Colombo Port Maritime Museum

Colombo Port Maritime Museum
Colombo Port Maritime Museum (Sinhala: කොළඹ වරාය සමුද්‍ර කෞතුකාගාරය) is located at No. 19 on Chaitya Road in Colombo Fort, Sri Lanka. It is operated and maintained by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

The museum has been established in one of the few well-preserved Dutch Buildings in Colombo (Welandawe & Weerasinghe, 2016). It was constructed by the Dutch in 1676 and was used as a store and a prison (Manathunga, 2016; Welandawe & Weerasinghe, 2016).

There were four buildings erected during the Dutch period made of Kabok (laterite) and limestones (Manathunga, 2016). They were mainly used to store long-lasting food items such as liquor and cinnamon (Manathunga, 2016). A distinctive feature of these buildings was their barrel roofs known as Pakhuizen (Manathunga, 2016). In 1951, two of these buildings were demolished and another was razed to the ground in 1999 (Manathunga, 2016). The present building is the only one left and it was refurbished and converted into a museum in 2003.

The museum
The museum exhibits historical incidents from the era of the arrival of Prince Vijaya to Sri Lanka in the 6th century B.C. and other historical developments in the Portuguese (1505-1658 A.D.), Dutch (1658-1796 A.D.) and British (1796-1948 A.D.) times.

A protected monument
The old Dutch storeroom within the premises of the Colombo Port in the Grama Niladhari Wasama Fort in the Colombo Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 18 June 1999.

1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. pp.16-17.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. no: 1085. 18 June 1999.
3) Welandawe, H., Weerasinghe, J., 2016. Urban Heritage in the Western Region Megapolis Planning Project. p.22.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 20 August 2022

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