Lankapura

Historic Images of Sri Lanka

Galle Face On the sea shore at Colombo, Ceylon

On the sea shore at Colombo, Ceylon

On the sea shore at Colombo, Ceylon #IMG284

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Galle Face Green, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Photographer: Anon
Date: 1890 – 1910
Country: Sri Lanka

The Galle Face Green which stretches for half kilometer along the coast in the heart of financial and business district of Colombo, Sri Lanka today. This long, open, level area was initially laid out in 1859 by the British Governor of Ceylon, Sir Henry Ward, and was also used for horse racing and as a golf course, although the original Galle Face Green extended over a much larger area than is seen today.

History of Galle face Green goes back as far as 1803, when the British army invaded the Kandyan Kingdom in January 1803 they were defeated and had heavy casualties. A large number of British soldiers were killed and a greater number died during the retreat when many contracted Malaria. The burial ground used at that time did not have adequate capacity to bury the bodies of the dead soldiers killed by the disease, so the land that now forms Galle Face Green was turned into a burial ground. In the 1920s the graves were dug up, and the remains were interred in the Colombo Cemetery (Kanatte). What had been a temporary burial ground was turned into a public park.

The Galle Face Green is currently a 5 hectare ribbon strip of land between Galle Road and Indian Ocean which is now the largest open space in Colombo.

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