Aug 23, Colombo: An old historic building within the Galle Fort of southern Sri Lanka has been renovated as an exclusive modern shopping complex while preserving its old Dutch architecture.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will open the shopping complex built in the Old Dutch Hospital in Galle Fort on August 28.
Urban Development Authority (UDA) Senior Consultant Weerasena Adikari said UDA officials who undertook the demanding task of restoring and developing the Galle Dutch Hospital had completed the project, preserving its original architectural aspect.
According to Adikari, the exterior has been changed to make it a unique and sophisticated building within the locality. The internal ambiance blends with modern facilities which have been developed while maintaining its original architectural designs.
The complex will include gems and jewellery shops, tea and spice shops, antiques collectibles shops, a traditional Ayurveda spa and foods and beverage shops.
The UDA is in the process of restoring all historic places in Galle, the official said.
According to Adikari with the success of the redevelopment of the Colombo Dutch Hospital project, the Galle Fort is sure to be a cynosure of old world charm coupled with modern amenities that would draw in both local and foreigners in their numbers.
The historic Galle Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1588 and occupied by the Dutch in 1700s and later by the British. The 52-hectare citadel was one of the most important stops along the ancient spice route. Due to its historic significance it has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Galle Dutch Hospital was renovated by the Sri Lanka Army's Engineering Services Regiment, under the instructions of the Project Management Department of the UDA.