This Port city linked Sri Lanka with ancient Indian Ocean trade routes and the rest of the world for over 2000 years. Chinese, Arabs, Romans, Greeks, Indians and European traders travelled to Sri Lanka via ancient Colombo port mainly for trading. In 1505, Portuguese explorer Lourenco de Almeida visited Colombo, which changed the course of Sri Lankan history to a new era. The Portuguese realised the commercial and maritime significance of Colombo which resulted trade missions to became invasions. Soon, Colombo as well as coastal areas of Sri Lanka were under the control of Portuguese. They built administrative, residential buildings as well as fortified military structures in Colombo with strong military and naval presence. Colombo fort was attacked and sieged several times by Sri Lankan kings but they were unable to break-through. After the Portuguese, Dutch captured Colombo in 1656 and controlled under the Dutch East India Company. In 1796 British captured Colombo and in 1815 Ceylon (Sri Lanka) became a cro n colony under the British rule, until 1948 when Ceylon gained independence.
Located at the west coast of Sri Lanka, Colombo is the largest city and the Commercial Capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo and its metropolitan suburbs have populations exceeding 5.5 million. Colombo is a tourist destination with many colonial and modern landmarks including Galle Face Green, Gangarama Temple, Independence Square, Colombo Town Hall, National Museum, Beira Lake, BMICH, Colombo Racecourse, and many other interesting places.