Wolfendal church

Address: Kotahena

Latitude: 6.9427778

Longitude: 79.8586111

Time Zone: Indian Standard Time

Categories: Attraction, Culture

Tags: Family, Tourist-free


Wolvendaal Church in Colombo is the oldest Protestant church of Sri Lanka. The church is named after the place Wolvendaal. The floor tiles of the church are made from the Dutch church in the fort and were brought here in 1813. The Dutch reformed church came to Sri Lanka in 1642. The governing body of the church was established in 1658 introducing the Protestant church or what they called 'True Christian Reformed Church'. Church councils were set up in Colombo, Galle and Jaffna propagating conversion measures. The Dutch assumed the administration of Colombo and its outskirts, whereby the surrounding region of the church was called Wolvendaal (Valley of Wolves). John Penry Lewis his work List of Inscriptions on Tombstones and Monuments in Ceylon (1913) refers to 'a marsh or a swamp frequented by jackals.'
Features of Wolvendaal Church in Colombo:

- The church celebrated its 255th anniversary recently.
- The hill which houses the church is believed to have derived its name from the milieu. Several versions of the name Wolvendaal were used in the colonial times including Wolfendhal and Wolfendahl.
- The Wolvendaal Church in Colombo is located on a hill offering breathtaking views of the Colombo harbor and the fort.
- The Dutch decided to build this fascinating church in Wolvendaal to replace the old Roman-Catholic church, the Church of St. Francis, situated in the former Gordon Gardens in the Colombo Fort.
- Construction work of the church began in 1749 during the term of office of Governor Julius Valentijn Stein Van Gollenesse (1743-51). His initials J.V.S.V.G. are inscribed to commemorate his contribution to the building.
- The building exemplifies Doric form of architecture and the base is in the shape of a cross. The church is thus called Kruiskerk in Dutch.
- The roof in the center of the building resembles a dome supported by concrete walls of coral and lime plaster.
- The church is a surviving example of Dutch colonial architecture, echoes the Dutch Christian ethos and a striking amalgamation of Dutch and Sri Lankan cultures.
It's a dutch period church where you can see an old bamboo organ and the special places where the governors stayed during 17th century.Also there is a very old guest book where anybody can see the distinguish guests from ancient time has written their views.

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