Newsfirst Explorers: Walking down Colombo’s memory lanes

Newsfirst Explorers: Walking down Colombo’s memory lanes

Written by Bella Dalima

07 Feb, 2014 | 5:51 pm

Over the past few days a team of Newsfirst Explorers revealed to you the forgotten history of Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, Colombo.

Tonight, on our segment Newsfirst Explorers, our team goes in search of the Water Gates of the Fort dubbed ‘Water Purtey’.

Yesterday, Newsfirst’s explorers went in search of the remnants of the Fort built by the Portuguese. The construction of this Fort ensured their rule of Kolonthota.

The special gateway which was built in the Portuguese fortress was dubbed ‘Water Purtey’. We travelled to the Colombo harbour to locate this gateway. According to certain historical records, the water gate was located close to the Northern Break Water of the harbour.

When all the entrances to the fort were closed only this gate was used. Access was only through water. It wasn’t a task which could be completed by one person alone.

Another interesting location of the Portuguese Fort was their gun powder cache. When searching for clues on its location, we found ourselves at The Lake House. Our next stop was the flagstaff at the Fort which has been featured in many a song.

The flagstaff was used to fly the Portuguese flag at the centre of the Fort and at night a lamp would be raised on the flagstaff to guide ships coming into the port. The flagstaff which was located down Bristol Street was relocated to the Hulftsdorp Court Complex premises in 1988.

Towering at 80 feet tall,  the flagstaff could be split into four. Tomorrow our expedition takes us to a wishing well.



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