While sipping your cocktail in one of the bars in the Old Dutch Hospital you may wonder what happened in this place some 300 years ago when the Dutch ruled over the country then called Ceylon.
Maybe it is the oldest building in Colombo from the colonial period, but it was in peril, almost a ruin which was happily been saved for the future. The Urban Development Authority’s ambitious efforts to give Colombo a new face after the devastating 30 years’ civil war against the LTTE also included this historic complex.
The Old Dutch Hospital has become one of the three precincts in Colombo, the first one that has been opened in Colombo Fort, opposite the World Trade Center. It comprises a number of exclusive shops, ‘wine and dine’ establishments, personal care salons and entertainment. The building is composed of 5 buildings with verandahs on the inside, including one front building; four buildings enclose a nice courtyard with street furniture and café-restaurant terraces. The busiest time is during weekends when street musicians and other street performances are taking place and the courtyard being full of life.
Similar, but different precincts are the Racecourt and the Independence Square Arcade, opened in 2014, both situated in Colombo 7 (Cinnamon Gardens).