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Dutch Period Museum

Dutch Period Museum

Formerly the residence of a Dutch governor, Count August Carl Van Ranzow, this 17th colonnaded town house served as a British military hospital in 1846 and as a post office in 1932. After undergoing renovation from 1977 to 1981, it reopened to the public in 1982 as the Dutch Period Museum, dedicated to the Dutch Colonial era in Sri Lanka.

Rooms downstairs contain a fairly decent collection of dombstones as well as old coins, military memorabilia and Kandyan artifacts. Upstairs, there are letters and documents as well as Dutch Colonial furniture such as beds and ebony writing tables. Although the displays here are only moderately interesting, the mansion and its charming courtyard garden are worth a visit for an insight into how the colonialists lived in the 18th century.

The exhibits are well labelled and the museum is fairly easy to navigate independently. However, be aware that it is common for staff members to guide visitors around the museum and expect the fee at the end.