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“Architectural monument to admire”

Independence Square
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US$37,50*
and up
Colombo City Day Tour
Ranked #13 of 162 things to do in Colombo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 June 2018

Another gem in the heart of the city. Good to spend 15-30 mins at this lovely place. Architectural monument to admire.

1  Thank uday s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"nice square"
in 9 reviews
"jogging track"
in 14 reviews
"shopping arcade"
in 15 reviews
"british rule"
in 18 reviews
"memorial museum"
in 6 reviews
"race course"
in 13 reviews
"morning and evening"
in 10 reviews
"historical importance"
in 8 reviews
"sri lanka"
in 71 reviews
"historical place"
in 16 reviews
"independent square"
in 6 reviews
"cinnamon gardens"
in 11 reviews
"prime minister"
in 11 reviews
"evening walk"
in 12 reviews
"clean place"
in 6 reviews
"nice place to visit"
in 12 reviews
"beautiful architecture"
in 6 reviews
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16 - 20 of 685 reviews

Reviewed 30 June 2018 via mobile

Well I had a different experience when I visited this place . The shopping mall was different. An old building was converted to a shopping mall . There are few cheap eats and hotels there . If u wanna spend few. Hours relaxing after seeing the attractions near by its the place where you wanna go . You can spend an hour here. Evening will be the best time to go there.

Thank Gokul_sekar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2018 via mobile

The Independence Monument and Gardens are simple, graceful and peaceful - much like the place and people of Sri Lanka. It’s worth stopping and walking around as it gives a great feeling. Then cross over to the Arcade which is converted Asylum Buildings. Extremely impressive Victorian architecture.

Thank Susan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2018

Independence Square: The building was constructed in 1889 at a cost of Rs 450,000 to serve as the Jawatta Lunatic Asylum (also called the Cinnamon Gardens Asylum). In 1875, the then Governor, Sir William Gregory, based on the recommendations of the Principal Civil Medical Officer, Dr. W R Kynsey, decided to build a new aylum to replace the existing facility at Borella. Issues over the location and design meant that construction did not commence until 1879, following the intervention of the new Governor, Sir James Longdon. Even then further construction of the building was delayed until 1882. The building consisted of an entrance block, two patient wings (accommodating 400 patients) connected to the central administration and a boundary wall. Longdon defended the cost of the facility stating at the time, "The asylum is a series of one-storey buildings of the plainest type. The walls are of brick plastered, because of the climate plastering is found requisite for the preservation of buildings. There is no expensive ornamentation, or indeed any ornament at all, unless a short ungraceful and inexpensive tower over the entrance designed for the clock can be called an ornament. The enclosing walls are of ordinary cabook, such as is universally used for garden walls in Colombo." The Jawatta Asylum suffered from overcrowding within years of completion, housing over 500 patients. In 1917 a new larger facility was constructed at Angoda, with all the patients being transferred from Jawatta by 1926.

The building subsequently housed the newly established University College. The building complex was then occupied by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), the Public Administration Department, Auditor General's Department and later the Government Analyst’s Department.

In 2012 the Urban Development Authority commenced the renovation of the buildings and special care was taken to preserve their original architectural features whilst adding modern technological features and amenities.The construction of the mall took approximately 200 soldiers and six months of work to clear the spaces and fully reveal the original structures. The buildings remain true to the original complex with no additions or alterations. It took nearly 2 years to fully renovate the structure at a cost of Rs 550 million. The 8,400 m2 (90,000 sq ft) shopping complex was officially opened by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 13 July 2014.

The arcade also houses Sri Lanka’s first ever boutique cinema, 'The Empire Cineplex', run by Ceylon Theatres. The overall experience is just too average and not worth a visit.

Thank 27Nam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 June 2018 via mobile

This is a great place to hang out with your kids. The nice space, land scape surrounding and lack of congestion makes it an ideal place to relax.

Thank Nuwan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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