The city of Negombo in Sri Lanka may be known as a top holiday destination with sun-kissed shorelines, but it also has a rich colonial history including a legacy left by the Dutch.
A Suitable Base
Before delving into colonial history, remember to find an ideal base where you can enjoy the many things to do in Negombo including visiting sites like the Dutch Canal. Set amidst one of the island’s widest beachfronts, Heritance Negombo is one such option and is a ‘Safe and Secure Level 1’ accommodation provider.
A Dutch Stronghold
In the 17th century, the Dutch became the country’s colonial rulers after defeating the Portuguese; they made their presence felt in Negombo as they developed it into a fort city to protect their maritime interests. They had a monopoly on the export of items like spices, cinnamon and gems and looked to preserve their trade power.
The Dutch Canal
After taking control of Negombo, the Dutch began to improve and expand upon a canal built by the Portuguese. The main purpose of this Dutch Canal was to provide an invaluable link to transport materials and goods to their stronghold. They developed a network of waterways and some can be explored on captivating cruises.
The Dutch Fort
Many tend to forget that the Dutch constructed a fort in Negombo too, though it’s not as prominent as the one in Galle and is now used as a prison complex. The Dutch Fort dates to 1644, built over the site of a Portuguese fort to protect the city; a small part of its eastern rampart, as well as an arched gateway, can be still seen today.