will close on Feb 27th.

Please save any personal content and exchange contact info with other members you?d like to stay in touch with. Thank you for your contributions to the VirtualTourist community.

"Portuguese Influence" Sri Lanka Local Custom Tip by supune

Sri Lanka Local Customs: 114 reviews and 114 photos

  Portuguese fort in Galle
by supune

This picture is of an old portuguese Fort in Galle. The Portugues were the first European power in Sri Lanka. They came in the 1500s led by Dom Lourenço de Almeida in 1505 or 1506. Giving up key ports in a treaty with the Portuguese was what led to European dominance in the cinamon and spice trade. The Portuguese also brought in missionaries and started converting people to Christianity (that's why my grandfather on my mother's side is named Joseph Gerrad-Joquim Silva).

By the mid 1550s even a king and queen were baptised and came under Portuguese control. By the end of the century, King Phillip of Spain/Portugal was proclaimed king of Ceylon. Only the central kingdom of Kandy remained indepedent, but then also fell under european control later. That is why there are so many Fernados, Perreras, and de Silvas in the coastal parts of Sri Lanka.

Then the Dutch and then later the British would also colonize the island after the Portuguese lost power in the mid 1600s.


Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jul 13, 2003
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse


supune Used To Live Here!


“When your tired ass gets home say sumthin nasty”

Online Now


Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 1 9 0 6

Have you been to Sri Lanka?

  Share Your Travels