Everyday Lankan History

Colombo (Fort)

Little remains of the original Dutch fort in Colombo today, except for its name. Regardless, it functioned as the VOC’s headquarters in Sri Lanka and hosted a wide array of offices and housing. The fort itself was restricted to white people, non-whites only being allowed in when they had official business there. The surrounding neighbourhoods and villages, however, hosted a wide diversity of peoples and cultures attracted to the city’s growing wealth and trade.

The taverns surrounding the fort area were frequented by a wide array of people, both from the fort itself as well as the Old Town next to it. Anthony Gomez collected the right to collect taxes from these taverns. That was a lucrative business. How he ended up in this position, you can read here: