Dutch Hospital is one of the structures, which is left off of the Colonialisation period of Sri Lanka. Although it very hard to pinpoint the exact time period as to when the Dutch Hospital was built. As per the records of Christopher Schweitzer, a German national under the Dutch services, it is stated that the Dutch Hospital was established by 1681. This building complex was initially designed for the purposes of being used as an infirmary to the personals of Dutch East India Company and the Soldiers.
This hospital complex is said to have been one of the best facilities available, though there were no beds at the time Sri Lanka, the Patients were provided with the reed mats whilst the most influential and the critically ill were provided with straw mattresses, which were considered to have been a luxury at the time. The canal nearby the Hospital was filled with the British colonists after Sri Lanka was captured by the British.
The Dutch Hospital has two central courtyards and five Wings. The Main Significance of Dutch architecture, is the ventilation element, creating massive thick beams and half a meter-thick walls, which could also be seen in the hospital premises. Furthermore, in order to create a comfortable ambiance, there are long verandas for the lengths of the wards.
The Old Dutch hospital was converted to a touristy shopping complex in the year 2011, with the aim of boosting tourism. The Arcade premises now hold pubs, bars, exquisite dining options and some of the high-end local brands.
Featured photo provided by Mats Ödman. Do not reuse without permission.
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