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COLOMBO CITY WALK

Arrive at Fort Cafe where the walk will commence. You guide will give a small introduction about the tour and start the walk. Along the way, you will explore a handful of the many lively streets that sell everything from textiles to electronics to spices. Hidden within these streets you will find yourselves coming up to the Old Dutch Museum where you can feast your eyes on the pristine architecture of the mansion that was built in the latter part of the 17th century and was initially the residence of Count August Carl Van Ranzow. This two storied large building reflecting the features of a 17th century Dutch Urban house was built by Thomas Van Rhee, The Dutch Governor of Sri Lanka from 1692- 1697 as his official residence. During the British period in 1796 this building was used as a arms store of army hospital, police training centre, Pettah post office and telecommunication centre. This building was preserved by a special preservation committee with the assistance of Netherlands government in 1977 and opened for the public as Dutch museum by the Department of National Museums. It has displayed over 3000 museum objects related to the Dutch who ruled coastal areas of Sri Lanka (1658-1796).

Thereafter, you will proceed to the commercial hub of Colombo, Fort, where you will find another colonial gem, the Old Dutch Hospital; once a functional hospital during the 17th century. Dutch hospital has been used for several different purposes, over the years. It is believed to have existed since 1681, as recorded by German Christoper Schweitzer. The Dutch established the Colombo hospital to look after the health of the officers and other staff serving under the Dutch East India Company. The hospital's close proximity to the harbour allowed it to serve Dutch seafarers.

Most patients were provided with a mat, while the most ill were given a mattress. Patients clothing was imported from Tuticorin, India. The surgeon with the longest service at the Colombo hospital was Alleman. Alleman sought to improve conditions at the hospital, including increasing provisions. The most famous of all the surgeons who worked in the Colombo hospital was undoubtedly Paul Hermann, who served from 1672-79. Herman has been described as the father of botany in Sri Lanka. Paintings from the era show that it once had a canal running along what is now Canal Row lane. This canal was filled in by British colonists after their capture of the city.

 The complex is now hosting to high-end restaurants, bars, and shops. Your host will stop here for a drink with you and give you time to admire this location but be warned that if the photographer's eye in your host sees the possibilities of a spectacular sunset, you may be rushed through drinks so that you will move on to the lighthouse just in time. The walk will come to an end at the historic Galle Face hotel, the oldest hotel east of the Suez, via a half kilometer walk along the Galle Face Green promenade that is usually busy with young and old alike.

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