Various museums dispersed all over Sri Lanka depict the cultural heritage
of Sri Lanka. These museums give an insight into evolution of cilivlisation
in the country. Visitors to these museums can very well understand the times
of the past in Sri Lanka.
National Museum is the oldest and largest Museum in the country,
established in 1877. Famous for its collection of antiques and objects
displaying the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka., it is first public museum of
Sri Lanka. National treasures and art facts from all parts of the island
have been collected in the national museum. A Puppetry and Children's Museum
are within the museum. It also hosts 4,000 plus ancient palm leaf
manuscripts and 500,000 valuable books. Closed on Fridays.
The Dutch Period Museum
Five erstwhile elite houses have been transformed as the 'Dutch
House'. The building was refurbished between 1977 and 1981. Distinct
architectural features of a colonial Dutch town house can be seen in the
structure. The museum enables one to look at Dutch legacy viz furniture,
ceramics, coins, arms etc. portrays facets of contemporary life and culture.
The museum was opened to general public in 1982.
National Museum of Natural History
Natural heritage of Sri Lanka can be witnessed here. The mammals and the
birds are showcased in dioramas. Sections are devoted on Applied Botany,
Geology and Fossils and the Natural Environment. A scale model in relief
shows the topography of a part of Sri Lanka.
The museum has photographs, objects and documents portraying the life and
times of the late Prime Minister, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. Visitors can hear
recordings of some of his famous speeches.
The Cultural Museum has the artefacts reflecting the art and culture of the
Southern Province. The National Maritime Museum is established within the
Fort of Galle in a colonial Dutch ware-house with impressive pillars. This
museum showcases the fauna & flora of the ocean. Preserved material and
scale models of whales and fish are displayed. The museum tries to cover all
resources of the sea.
Located on the backside of the Temple of the Tooth, it is in a building of
historical and architectural interest. The museum offers information about
the Kandyan period (17th-18th century).
The National Museum of Ratnapura is located on the Colombo Road in
Ratnapura. The museum displays the prehistory of Sri Lanka. Process of
gem-mining is showed through a model. Few artefacts displayed here, reflect
distinct arts & culture of the Sabaragamuwa Province.
The Folk Museum has the assemblage of artefacts reflecting the rural life
of the North Central Province.
Archaeological museums have been established by the Archaeological
Department in Anuradhapura (ancient city), Isurumuniya, Kataragama,
Mihintale, Veheragala, Vavuniya, Deegavapiya, Jaffna, Sigiriya, Kandy,
Dedigama, Yapahuwa, Panduwasnuwara, Kotte and Matara.