Columbo’s Fort District is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. Developed extensively during the British Colonial era, a visit to many areas in the Fort seems like stepping back a century or more. Many of its hotels, shops and offices date to this period. To this day it remains the city’s center of business and is home to the Bank of Ceylon headquarters and Ceylon Stock Exchange.
The Fort District was built around Colombo’s fine harbor and it is here you will find the Maritime Museum, lighthouse, and Naval barracks. The area is also site of the country’s Presidential residency and some branches of the country’s government offices. The area is not exclusively a slice of old England. For example, the Old Dutch hospital building is a reminder of the time Hollanders were Sri Lanka’s overlords. This building has recently been attractively renovated and is now an upscale place to meet a friend for lunch or do some shopping.
At the periphery of the Fort District you’ll find some nice modern buildings like the World Trade Center and several fine hotels including the popular Hilton and Kingsbury.
The nature of the fort District is changing radically with the construction of the massive new Marina adjoining it. That will not be completed for some time but will move this area from ocean front to inland, and the Fort District will then sit in the shadows of the Marina’s high rises.
Some more views from my stroll around the old Fort District:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)