Historic Images of Sri Lanka

Colombo Harbour, Ceylon 1880-1890

Colombo Harbour, Ceylon 1880-1890

Colombo Harbour, Ceylon 1880-1890 #IMG524

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Port of Colombo, Ceylon

The city of Colombo derives its name from the Port of Kolomtota (Colombo harbour), which dates back to the Sinhalese Kotte kingdom of the 14th Century. Kolomtota was the port first used by merchants from China and the Far East, India and Persia, who came to trade in the island’s famous spices. In 1505, however, 443 years of foreign occupation began in Sri Lanka, when the Portuguese fleet sailed in to Colombo’s harbour. After more than a century and a half, the Dutch followed and occupied the country from 1656 to 1796. Then came the British, ruling the region as a colony until a few years after World War II.
It was during the latter part British rule that the Port of Colombo was upgraded and converted to a sheltered harbour. After independence was granted in 1948 the Port was expanded with the construction of the Queen Elizabeth Quay together with the completion of 16 alongside berths, transit sheds, and warehouses. To this day, the Port of Colombo is rated as one of the top 35 ports in the world.

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