Colombo Dutch Museum

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A museum with a collection of over 3000 artifacts which includes furniture, ceramics, coins, weapons related to the Dutch legacy. The two storey building itself is built by Thomas Van Rhee, The Dutch Governor of Sri Lanka from 1692- 1697 and served as his official residence.

In 1638 the Sri Lankan King, Rajasinghe II invited the Dutch to help fight the Portuguese. The Kandyan Treaty was signed as a result. The treaty was signed between the Kingdom of Kandy and the Dutch Republic, on 23rd May 1638 in Batticaloa. The treaty defined the terms under which the two nations would cooperate in defending Sri Lakna from Portuguese.

Following the treaty the Dutch embarked soon on a way against their common enemy the Portugese. The treaty failed implantation after the victory against Portugese and the Dutch managed to capture most of the coastal areas of the island and rule from 1640 to 1796, but they never were able to take control of the Kandyan Kingdom.

The museum is focused on depicting the Dutch legacy. The building was originally the Dutch governor's house. It was later used as an arms store of the army hospital, police training centre, Pettah post office and telecommunication center from 1796.

A restoration project was commenced in 1977 with the financial assistance of the Netherland government and the current museum was opened to the public in 1982. In 1999 the building was formally recognised as an archaeological protected monument in Sri Lanka.