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The Fortress of Colombo: What else remains?

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My research into the remains of the Fort of Colombo led me to identify 7 locations in total which all belongs to the Dutch built fort. The previous article dealt with my identification of 3 sections of the Dutch fort lying within the Navy Headquarters; that is the entire Dan Briel bastion, the Postern gate known as the Slave port and sections of the rampart from Dan Briel bastion to Amsterdam bastion. In this article I would discuss the remaining 4 locations.

Defiling Modern Warfare: The Dutch Castle of the North

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Sri Lanka is home to several Dutch forts found throughout the island in varying size; much of the Dutch forts have survived the ages and some being in the mint condition such as the massive Galle Fort which is a World Heritage Site. Another interesting fort known to many is the Jaffna fort situated in the heart of the Jaffna town bordering the lagoon. Out of the other Dutch forts, the Jaffna fort is the most geometrically perfect, being of an equal sided pentagon with five bastions in the corners and would have been the third largest Dutch fort in the island after Galle and Colombo.

Two Arabic Epigraphs found from the Ambalangoda Harbour

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The great Chronicles Mahavamsha and Sandesa kavviya (messenger poems) had not mentioned about the activities of the ancient harbor at Ambalangoda. Thisara Sandesaya (1344-1359 AD) (Gunawardane, 2001 p. 1), Parevi Sandesaya (After 1415 AD) have described the coastal areas of the Southern province near Ambalangoda in their poems. Kalutota, Maggona, Beruwala, Aluthgama, Kosgoda, Bentota, Welitota (Balapitiya), Madampamodara, Totagamuwa, Rathgama mentioned in Thisara and Parevi sandesyas (Jayatilake, 2002 pp. 97, 101, 102, 103, 104, 107, 108, 109, 113; Gunawardane, 2001 pp. 101, 103, 107, 108, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116). However, one notable thing is the name “Ambalangoda” has not mentioned in this Sandesas.

20th Century Historians : D.W. Ferguson

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Historical researches undoubtedly require reference to original sources; at present much of the original literature on Sri Lanka both local and foreign have been reproduced and translated into the present vernacular. This tedious task has no doubt aided the modern student of history to dig through original works of literature with much ease. Contributions of Donald William Ferguson in the areas of Portuguese history are a landmark in scholarship in the country and there is scarcely a student or writer of Sri Lankan history who has not benefited by the penetrating researches of Donald Ferguson.

Kotte Heritage 3: The Bastions and Passes

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Passes and bastions are important elements of fortifications. The Passes, large and small give access to and from a fort and at times of war would be heavily guarded. Bastions are fortified projections on the ramparts of a fort from which defenders could easily defend the rampart as well as attack enemies due to its wide angle of fire. The fortress of Kotte was equipped with both these elements.

The Fortress of Colombo: What lies beneath the Navy Head Quarters

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The harbour of Kolon Thota or Colombo was a prominent port in ancient Sri Lanka and from the 15th century onwards it was the principle port of the country due to its proximity to the Capital city of Kotte. With the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, they made Colombo their main center establishing a large city over time. The succeeding European colonists, the Dutch and British too made Colombo their center.

Breaking myths: uncovering the truth behind the ‘Old Dutch Stables’ of Pettah

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The Pettah, located in the heart of Colombo bordering the Colombo harbor and the commercial hub Fort was once part of the colonial Dutch city of Colombo which was the center of administration of the Dutch. The Pettah during the Dutch period was known as the Oude Stad or Old City and formed the residential quarters of the city which the bordered the Castle or the Dutch Fort of Colombo on the west.

Life in Sri Lankan Archaeology

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Archaeology, the scientific study of the material remains of the human past is a unique field in where the participant while digging up the past is exposed to an array of diverse cultures and environments. It is a field that requires a strict discipline in conducting one’s self as the vehicle of archaeology would drive one to various places of the world, meet different people of different cultures and changing environments. For the lover of history and nature, this could be a very satisfying experience to the soul as archaeology binds one to these two aspects thereby creating a character more open to the diversity of humanity.

Martello Tower, Hambantota

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The Martello Tower is a type of fortification constructed by the British in the 19th century. This was a small round fortification of about 20-25 feet in height and could garrison up to 20 – 30 men. Their round structure made it resistant to bombardment and was generally suited for coastal defense. The design originated from around fortified tower at ‘Mortella’ point in the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea, which was garrisoned by the French; the British impressed by its resistance to their naval assault on the tower in February 1794 studied its design and adapted its defensive properties in their own strategies after 1796.
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