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Colombo Fort

fort harbour

Image - Fort Harbour at a Distance ...

Colombo city is an exciting place especially where the Colombo Fort District is concerned.  The Fort was primarily built by the Portuguese and developed by the Dutch after invading the Portuguese regime.  The Colombo Fort and the Colombo Harbour have a long history.  This was mainly used by Greeks, Egyptians and Arabian merchants until 1506 for their shipping purposes.  The Portuguese took control of the Colombo Harbour and they built the Fort as a defence mechanism from invaders.  The fort they built around the harbour was named Colombo Fort.  



The Dutch invaded Colombo Fort in 1658 and the city was developed systematically. The Beira Lake was also developed and extended in order to strengthen the Dutch defence strategy.

In 1796 the British took control of the Colombo Fort and invaded the entire country by 1815.  They further developed Colombo city and made it the commercial hub of Ceylon and the Governor’s quarters was built in the Fort itself which is the President’s residence.


The British built the Parliament which now is known as the Presidential Secretariat facing Galle Face Green located in the south of Colombo city.  

The Colombo port or earlier known as “The Port of Kolonthota” is the busiest and largest port in Sri Lanka which was built in early 14th century during the Kotte kingdom.

Due to its marvellous strategic location in the Indian Ocean, the port of Kolonthota was very famous among Indian, Chinese and Persian traders back in 1505. After many years of major transformation, currently the Colombo Port or Colombo Harbour is one of the busiest ports and ranks among the top 35 ports in the world.

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