City of Capital
Experience the colorful lights and bright life of Colombo, the capital City of Sri Lanka. Visit historic monuments such as the Old Lighthouse, the Old Parliament, Galle Face Hotel, Galle Face Green, Gangarama Temple, the National Museum and more. Enjoy the malls of Independence Square or the Racecourse. Visit boutique shops and designer stores.
Galle Face Green
Located in the heart of the business capital of the country; Colombo, the Galle Face Green in Sri Lanka is a five-hectare ocean-side urban park, which stretches for a half kilometer along the coast. It is a magnificent place to witness a marvelous sun set over western coast of Sri Lanka. The area was initially put to plan and laid out in 1859 by Governor Sir Henry George Ward, although the original Galle Face Green extended over a much larger area than is seen today. The Galle Face Green in Sri Lanka was initially used for many recreational activities. These include activities such as horse racing and golf. It was also used as an area to play cricket, polo, football tennis and rugby.
National Museum of Sri Lanka
The National Museum of Sri Lanka, also most commonly known as the Sri Lanka National Museum is the largest Museum in Sri Lanka. It is maintained by its own dedicated Department of National Museum in Sri Lanka. It is home to many valuable and historically important objects such as the throne and the crown of the Kandyan Monarchs. The Colombo Museum was established in 1st January 1877. It was founded by the British Governor of Ceylon at the time; Sir William Gregory. The architect of the Public Works department, J.G. Smither was able to prepare plans for the new structure based on Italian architecture style.
Gangarama Buddhist Temple
Within the heart of Colombo is the Gangarama Buddhist Temple. Built during the late 19th century for the Buddhists who lived in the capital city of Colombo; the temple sprawled over a large area of land and included several outer structures. The Seema Malaka is one of these. Originally, it was built with a foundation within the floor of Beira Lake, and was the image of stolidity. However, it was not able to withstand the marshy ground underneath the lake. By 1970 the Seema Malaka had sunk completely under the waters of Beira. And then in 1976, Sir Geoffrey Bawa was hired to do this difficult construction design. He created three floating platforms interlinked by pontoon walkways and anchored to the base of the lake by way of stone pillars. The light design ensured that the construction would not sink. The entire structure is connected to the shore using another pontoon bridge. He created a design that emulated the ancient monasteries of Anuradhapura and added his own signature modern twirl to it. Bawa was one of the most influential Asian architects of the mid to late 20th century and was well known for founding Tropical Modernism. This style is very apparent in the deep blue clay roof tiles of the main temple, the simplistic and yet delicate structure made of a collection of wooden spindles and banisters that lets plenty of air and light in, and the overall design that conforms to nature instead of fighting against it.
Beira Lake is one of Colombo’s most famous landmarks. It lies right in the middle of the capital and is one of the few places of relaxation and beauty within the city limits. As such the area on and around it has many attractions; not to mention the history of the lake itself. Beira Lake started out as a much bigger lake of occupying a area of 410 acres over a century ago. But with the rapid commercialization of the area it has since been reduced to approximately 160 acres.
Old Dutch Hospital
Amongst the busy commercial trade zone of the Colombo Fort region in Sri Lanka are some of the oldest structures of the city. The Old Dutch Hospital with its tropical colonial-era architecture is one of them. The old structure; with its boxy pillars, red clay roof tiles and large central courtyards; was built in the late 17th century by the Dutch. They were influenced by the tropical requirements and the local building style in Ceylon at the time, as is evidenced by the design; which is quite different from European structures of the era. While the building may seem comparatively dull overall; it’s important to feel the echoes of its history while visiting. The restaurants and stores within the Old Dutch Hospital tend to be more on the high end and expensive. Some of the places worth visiting there are The Ministry of the Crab, with its mouthwatering crab cuisine; Barefoot Gallery Cafe with its colorful handloom fabric clothing, stuffed toys and etc; Spa Ceylon with its fragrant herbal bath and body therapy items, and the Heladiv Tea Club with its delicious teas, cakes and sandwiches. There are also a number of other good stores that open up suddenly in spare spaces, which are worth having a look at.