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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 06, 2020
Headline for Less Known Facts About The Ancient Colombo Fort- A city that has always been the main attraction
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Less Known Facts About The Ancient Colombo Fort- A city that has always been the main attraction

Colombo is currently the administrative capital of Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka. The city has always been of interest since the ancient days for several reasons. Here are some interesting facts.

1

Colombo Fort was actually once a fort!

The name comes with a reason. Colombo Fort, also called Colombo 01, was a fort that was surrounded by stone walls. The little suburb Pettah is known as Pitakotuwa which essentially means outside the Fort.
The original fort, which has an irregular octagon shape, was first built by the Portuguese in the 1500s as means to ensure the security of the commercial point of the country. The location was chosen strategically to ensure a good vantage point to spot any unwanted intruders who may pose a threat to the blooming spice industry. Eventually, the need for commercial demands exceeded and thus, the fort had to be dismantled.

2

Some remnants still exist

Despite being have dismantled, some of the remnants of the fort still exist to-date. The Galle Face Green with its canons facing seaward. Some remnants are yet to be discovered as there are a few that are being uncovered through the years.

3

It is home to some of the oldest departmental stores in Asia

If you walk down York Street, you will see the unmistakable red and white brick-walled Cargills building that was built in 1906, during the presence of a Dutch Captain. The very first Cargills Building was established in Kandy in 1844 and then branched out to Colombo Fort. It had about forty stores and people would go here to shop for almost everything under one roof- music records, sewing machines etc. Currently, the building is being renovated, still aiming to preserve the colonial charm of it and is part of the Colombo attractions.

4

The Cutch Hospital Precinct

This is said to be the oldest building in the city and dates back to 1681, during the period of Dutch domination. It was initially a hospital that aimed to give healthcare to the Dutch staff after which it accommodated by the Colombo seafarers. At present, it has been renovated and converted into a shopping precinct which features many restaurants, pubs and shops and is always abuzz with people. The ambience here is alive and kicking and being here, reminds you of the many developments the city has gone through.

5

Port of Colombo

Most of the Colombo Harbour is still under strict protection as a result of the civil war that took place in the country, which ended in 2009. The ports are known to be the busiest port in South Asia, considering the location that serves as a connecting point among many other harbours. A tour of the Ports and the surrounding city can be arranged easily by travel companies, find out more about places worth a visit on sites like Truly Sri Lanka, which aim to give extensive information on the city, backed with educational facts. The Port is also home to the country's Navy Fleet which further explains the need for security.

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