Situated in Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 7. The first public
Museum to be established in Sri Lanka (1877). Best known for its
collection of antiques and objects d'art displaying the cultural
heritage of Sri Lanka. It includes the national treasures and art
facts from all parts of the island. A section of the first floor
houses the Puppetry and Children's Museum. It also houses a library
with a collection of about 500,000 books including very valuable and
rare ones and more than 4,000 ancient palm leaf manuscripts. Open
daily from 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs except on Fridays when it is closed to
the public for cleaning. Admission : Adults Rs.55. Children Rs.30.
National Museum of Natural History
Situated in the same premises as the Cultural Museum described above.
Also, accessible from Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7. Displays
the Natural Heritage of Sri Lanka. The fauna i.e. the mammals and the
birds are displayed in dioramas. There are sections on Applied Botany,
Geology and Fossils and the Natural Environment. In the Discovery Room
one finds the mounted skeleton of an elephant and a scale model in
relief showing the topography of a part of Sri Lanka. Open daily from
0900 hrs to 1700 hrs. Admission : Adults Rs.35. Children Rs.20.
The Dutch Period Museum
The old `Dutch House' on Prince Street, Pettah (Colombo 11) which
houses this museum was built in the latter part of the 17th century
and was initially the residence of Count August Carl Van Ranzow along
with five other houses of the elite. Today, the sides of the street
are choc-a-block with boutiques and stores of moslem traders. The
restoration of this building commenced in 1977 and was completed in
1981. This museum was opened to the public in 1982. This building
embodies the unique architectural features of a colonial Dutch town
house. The museum while displaying the Dutch legacy with the artefacts
viz. furniture, ceramics, coins, arms etc. portrays facets of
contemporary life and culture. Open daily except Fridays from 0900
Hrs. to - 1700 Hrs. Admission. Adults Rs.50.
Situated behind the Temple of the Tooth, in a building of historical
and architectural interest. The collections are all of the Kandyan
Period (17th - 18th Century). Open daily from 0900 Hr. - 1700 Hrs.
Admission: Adults Rs.55. Children 30.
The National Museum of Ratnapura is housed in the famous Ehelapola
Walawwa on the Colombo Road in Ratnapura. The museum displays to a
great extent the prehistory of Sri Lanka. Ratnapura being famous for
gems, the process of gem-mining is displayed through a model. Some of
the artefacts displayed here, reflect the unique arts & culture of the
Sabaragamuwa Province. Open daily except Fridays from 0900 Hrs - 1700
Hrs. Admission : Adults Rs.30 Children Rs.15.
The Folk Museum is in the sacred city close to the Archaeological
Museum and has a collection of artefacts illustrative of the rural
life of the North Central Province. Open daily except Thursdays &
Fridays from 0900 Hrs - 1700 Hrs. Admission : Adults Rs.30. Children
Within the Fort of Galle in a Dutch Colonial building in Church Street
is the Cultural Museum adjoining the New Oriental Hotel.The artefacts
reflect the art and culture of the Southern Province. Open daily
except Mondays from 0900 Hrs - 1700 Hrs. Admission Adults Rs.30.
The National Maritime Museum, Galle
Located within the Fort of Galle in a colonial Dutch ware-house with
imposing pillars. This museum displays the fauna & flora of the sea
and the environment. Artefacts consist of preserved material and scale
models of whales and fishes. Generally, all the resources of the sea
are covered in this Museum. It also shows in diorama form with life
size models, the traditional methods of fishing. Some artefacts of
under water archaeology are on display. An interesting experiment is
the `walk-into-the sea' diorama, showing the natural coral beds, sea
grass beds and deep sea fishes. Finally, one leaves the museum seeing
the causes of sea pollution, coast erosion and methods used to combat
these problems. Open daily from 0900 Hrs - 1700 Hrs Admission : Adults
Rs.50. Children Rs.25.
Weera Puran Appu Museum
Housed at Weera Puran Appu Vidyalaya, New Galle Road, Moratuwa. This
museum exhibits items in relation to the life and times of this great
hero who fought the British against unfair levy of taxes and injustice
and laid down his life in defence of the country.
Housed in the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall,
Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, the museum contains photographs,
objects and documents portraying the life and times of the late Prime
Minister, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. Visitors can listen to recordings of
some of his famous speeches. Open daily except Mondays and full moon
days from 0900 Hrs. to 1600 Hrs. For special arrangements contact:
Curator, Bandaranaike Museum,
The Archaeological Department has established Archaeological Site
Museums in Anuradhapura (ancient city). Isurumuniya, Mihintale,
Veheragala, Vavuniya, Jaffna, Sigiriya, Kandy, Dedigama, Yapahuwa,
Panduwasnuwara, Kotte, Matara (Star-Fort), Deegavapiya and Kataragama.
Tourists may visit these museums free of charge but taking photographs
is not allowed unless a permit is obtained from the Director General
of Dept. of Archaeology, Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 7.
Notably, pemits are necessary to photograph monuments at certain
Archaeological sites. Archaelogical museums are open daily from 0800
hrs to 1700 hrs but closed on Tuesdays and some of them will be close
on public holidays too.
The Art Gallery at Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7, caters
largely to the conservative taste in painting. The Lionel Wendt Art
Gallery at Guildford Crescent, Colombo 7, displays contemporary
paintings. Kalagaraya, the permanent art gallery of the Alliance
Francaise de Colombo, can be found at 54, Ward Place, Colombo 7, and
displays a representative collection of contemporary art.The Sapumal
Foundation Gallery at 32/4, Barnes Place, Colombo 7, open on Thursdays
Fridays and Saturdays between 1000 hrs. - 1300 hrs. displays and sells
Sri Lankan paintings from 1920 onwards.
It should be noted that tourists who visit the Archaeological sites
currently under the Cultural Triangle's Archaeological programme
should obtain tickets from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 255,
Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7. These tickets provide admission to and
permission to photograph all Cultural Triangle's archaeological sites
and monuments. Further details on this are available from the Central
Cultural Fund Office, 212, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7.