Jaffna is the Capital of the Northern Province located almost 400kms away from the commercial capital of the country. it was been the most contested city in the island throughout its history. It was under the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British and was a key point during the Sri Lankan Civil War. Here are the traces the colonial masters left us with!
Jaffna Fort – It is a proud Portuguese structure built by them following their invasion of Jaffna in 1618, it was overtaken by Dutch in 1658 and expanded it and later it fell in the hands of the British and was used as a garrison till independence. The fort was used as Governer’s residence, Queen’s house and Police Quarters etc from the Portugues Era. It was also considered to be a stronghold for both the side during the Sri Lankan Civil War.
Old Park – situated about a 3 km drive from Jaffna town is the residence of then British Government Agent of the North – Acland Dyke. He established this 27 acres wide park with his own fund in 1829 and according to the records details it had a pond, flower garden, orchards and rare plants- but today only the pond remains.
Jaffna Secretariat ( The Old Kachcheri ) – this magnificent structure with Roman arches in round and semi-circular forms is an example of Neo-Renaissance architecture standing firm in the city of Jaffna. It was built during the period of Dyke.
St John the Baptist – another structure depicts Neo-Renaissance architectural style is this blessed church. It was built of Roman arches in the entrance, rose windows and the tower rises above the altar towards the back of the church.
Our Lady of Refuge – structural style of this church reveals it belongs to Neo- Gothic – pointed arches in the doorways and windows support this fact. The building plan of this church incorporates a Latin Cross and the main tower is built on top of the intersection of the Latin Cross.
British Houses – Jaffna has plenty of houses which were built in colonial style and most of them seemed to have a blend of all. A house located in the Kachcheri Nallur Road exhibits Neo-Renaissance style with Neo-Gothic and there is a house in Old Park showcases the Baroque style of architecture.
Whenever you go around in Jaffna just visit these places to quench your thirst for history.