Museum and Art Gallery

National Museum, Colombo
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 Rs.15.

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. Children Rs.15.

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.

Bandaranaike Museum
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,

Archaeological Museums
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.

Art Galleries
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.

Permits Required
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.

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