"Negombo - Fisherman's Village" Top 5 Page for this destination Negombo by Oscar_Nonis

Negombo Travel Guide: 88 reviews and 196 photos


Negombo is home to the largest community of Catholics in Sri Lanka, a legacy of the Portuguese, who industriously spread Catholicism all along the west coast. Portuguese surnames abound here, though the people do not descend from the Portuguese. Their ancestors adopted a Portuguese name when they had been baptised. In the Dutch time Negombo was important because the highest quality cinnamon grew in this area, but with the dissapearance of the cinnamon trade it lost its importance.

Negombo itself is an nice tropical town. Beauty is to be found on the beaches and around the lagoons, where colourful fishing boats lie on blue water against a backdrop of palmtrees and blue sky.

The Portuguese fort that stood here was mostly destroyed by cannon during the Dutch siege in 1644. The Dutch fort was built on its ruins, not on the usual square pattern, but on a pentagonal one, though it had only four bulwarks. The fifth one was never built. The fort was located on a narrow strip of land between a lagoon and an inlet of the sea. It was surrounded by moats, and the gate was accessed via a drawbridge. Facing it on the landside was a town with the familiar rectangular pattern of streets which was itself protected by earthwalls. The area to the west was regularly flooded by the sea, changing the land on which the fort stood into a peninsula. Governor Rumpf described the fort as a 'fine defensible structure' when he visited it in 1720, but the painter Heydt, who painted it in 1744, was less enthousiastic and felt that it could have been built 'somewhat more durably'.

Governor Rumpf visited the Negombo Fort to view the improvements that had been recently made to it. The walls had been topped up, new watch towers had been built on the bastions, a big bell tower had been built above the gate, and a wooden pallisade had been put up. The Fort in its new splendour is shown in this water colour from 1720.

Today only ruins are left. The Fort was demolished in the late nineteenth century by the British, who used its stones to build a prison. The main remnant is an ambivalent mound and part of the eastern wall with the main gate that gives entrance to a tunnel that opens into what was once the courtyard. A clocktower behind it has been added at Queen Victoria's Jubilee.

Nearby on the beach is the fishing market of Negombo. The fish is brought ashore here and sold immediately while the sun beats down. Low coloured boats and fishing nets lie on the beach. Dirty crows and seagulls are everywhere. The old women who sell the fish are very poor and have very black skins. Along the beach are some decrepit buildings and a field where kids play cricket. To the tourists who come to the beaches of Negombo the market is promoted as being picturesque but it's a scene of poverty and not pretty at all.

In the town one can see some of the canals the Dutch have built in the country to facilitate transport. They are still being used by the local people.

It is one of famous tourist area and its very close to CMB airport. most of Transit passengers put there and lots of tourists visit this nice city. I'm so proud about Negmobo. because I was spend so much time of my life in Negombo

  • Intro Updated Oct 28, 2005
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Reviews (13)

Comments (16)

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Hello Oscar. I will be travelling to Negombo in the beginning of May. I enjoyed reading your tips. Thank you for sharing! Greetings from Dubai / Jess

  • Feb 3, 2008 at 4:29 PM

    Hi Oscar, I will be visiting Negombo, and staying at Jetwing seashells Hotel 29july-13 August. Your site was very informative, What are the dangers i should be aware of. Are their many moskito's Please email me mhumptydumty@aol.com

  • Aug 30, 2007 at 3:31 PM

    Thanks Oscar, we are visiting Negombo soon (september) and will check out your tips. If you have further tips, email me at graham.allen45@ntlworld.com

  • gumtau's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2006 at 10:27 AM

    Hello Oscar, found your interesitng page because I am gong to stay in Ambalagoda for the next three weeks. YOu can mail me at gumtau@web.de Michael

  • Daja123's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2006 at 1:07 PM

    Your home town is really paradise. (~_~)

  • sweetie_inc's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2005 at 8:38 AM

    hi! u got great pages full of good tips on Negombo! Didn't know that we can see so much in Negombo! Happy New Year! Cheers from Singapore..

  • CindyLou99's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2005 at 1:11 AM

    I love that sunset picture but I bet it is 100% better in real life! Greetings from Canada Oscar!

  • 2byrd's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2004 at 6:01 AM

    Your pages are filled with great information. I will be looking at some of your other travels and also hope to see for myself one day!

  • Aug 24, 2004 at 9:36 AM

    Beautiful beach!

  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2004 at 10:30 AM

    Excellent Page! Negombo looks wonderful, I love your photo of the beach cleaner, the colours in it are beautiful. Happy Travels (~_~)

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