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Colonial buildings in Trincomalee

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Trincomalee is one of the world’s deepest natural harbours and this city is important due to its history. Trincomalee’s natural deep-water port has been the target for all kinds of attacks over the centuries. Trincomalee’s fort was built by the Portuguese, then developed by the Dutch (Dutch VOC buildings like the ancient Dutch hospital, buildings with wooden pillars) and British. The ramparts built in the fort demonstrate the architectural value of the fort. Also, several constructions within the Trincomalee Naval Base, are demonstrating the ancient old colonial architecture in Sri Lanka.

Fort Fredrick - Dutch Fort

Fort Fredrick in Trincomalee is also known as Trincomalee Fort or Fort of Triquillimale. The Fort was once built by the Portuguese and completed in 1624 CE. It was built on Swami Rock-Konamamalai from the debris of the world-famous ancient Hindu Koneswaram Temple (Temple of a Thousand Pillars). The temple was destroyed by the Portuguese colonial Constantino de Sá de Noronha under King Philip III. The Fort of Triquillimale was dismantled and rebuilt by the Dutch in 1665, renamed Fort Fredrick.

The Maritime and Naval History Museum

The Maritime and Naval History Museum in Trincomalee was established in the year 2013 and is located close to Fort Frederick, this is where the Dutch first landed on the island in the late 16th. The colonial building was the former residence of the Dutch Naval Commissioner from 1602 to 1795 and from 1795 to 1948 had been used as the residence of the Urban Commissioner’s. The building was severely damaged during Sri Lanka’s civil war but has been renovated and restored to its former majestic state.
The building of Maritime and Naval History Museum, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
Navy House Trincomalee

The Trincomalee Naval Base

The Trincomalee Naval Base holds several colonial buildings like the Hood’s Tower. The Hood´s Tower is located in the middle of the military base. You will be accompanied by an officer during your visit. The old watch tower (Hood´s Tower) offers a great view over the natural harbour of Trinco.


The architecture of Sri Lanka is influenced by colonisation by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the English. The colonial architecture of ancient Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, forms a major part of Sri Lanka’s tourist attractions. Many of the colonial buildings from different eras can be found in cities like Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Negombo, Jaffna and Trincomalee and there are remains of Portuguese, Dutch, and English Forts all around Sri Lanka.