We begin our tour here at the independence monument.
The Independence monument was built in 1953, to mark the end of British rule in Ceylon. The location is of historic importance as it is where Sri Lanka’s first parliament was convened to declare independence.
On the 4th of February 1948, Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester ended five centuries of colonial rule in Ceylon right here on this very spot.
This monument was commissioned by Premier D S Senanyake, whose statue you can see at the front of the monument. He contracted Sri Lanka’s most prominent architects to conceptualise a design “worthy of the country’s long and impressive history.
Here you will see, included in the monument, elements of Sri Lanka’s historic buildings. For example, The lions you see around the monument were recreated from the lion statues of the 13th century Yapahuwa kingdom. The 60 pillars that support the interior of the hall, are replicas of the famous Embekke wood carvings from the 14th century Gampola kingdom. Ironically, this assembly hall is based on the "Magul Maduwa” or audience hall of the kandy kingdom, the very place where the Kandyan chieftains ceded the island’s sovereignty to the British throne in 1815.
At the base of the monument you can find the independence Museum, which includes a memorial to all the soldiers who died during the 30 year civil war, Exhibits depicting Sri Lanka's struggle for independence, and the busts of the national heroes who took part in that struggle. It also provides some insight into Sri Lanka's history, from the 4th century BC Anuradhapura Kingdom through to the 18th Century Kandyan Kingdom.
To continue the tour proceed to the BMICH
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