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A beautiful bungalow situated on the top of the Haputale hills and owned by a British tea planter Sir Thomas Villiers is now transformed into a Benedictine monastery. It is one of the remaining 18 monasteries belonging to the Sylvestrine Congregation in the world. The old country house was built in 1931, in 1949 Sri Lanka’s first female cabinet Minister Vimala Wijewardene owned it and sold it to Roman Catholic Church in 1961. The chapel at the monastery houses a relic of St. Sylvester the 33rd Pope of the Catholic Church.
The monastery is about three kilometers away from the Haputale town, a tuk tuk ride would cost about 500 - 600 LKR. You can also walk up to the monastery. They let you inside the monastery and allow you to see two massive rooms, living room and library which are filled with old furniture. You are not allowed to take photographs inside the rooms. One of the rooms holds a large portrait of Sir Thomas Villiers and the rest of the building is used for the monastery. The monastery also has a guesthouse where you can stay.
The building is built in a 10 acre land and has a massive garden with lots of flowers and roses. They do also have a restaurant on premises, which also sell Jams and Cordials.
The monastery gets crowded during the weekend, and is only open on the weekends, Poya days and School Holidays from 9 AM to 4:30 PM.