In response to the invitation of the U.S. Embassy Colombo, the Department of Archaeology of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura submitted a project proposal for the Comprehensive Documentation of Historic Buildings within the World Heritage Site of the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications. The main objective of the project is to document the historical fabric of the Galle Fort in order to identify the architectural character and facilitate the formulation of a master plan to guide a sympathetic development within the Historic Area. Comprehensive documentation of each building with the history and present state will enable the authorities to formulate conservation plans, guidelines for conservation and also enable the owners to carry out their developments without hindering the ancient character of the Galle Fort.

Introduction to the Project

The project proposal namely “Documentation of Historic Structures within Galle Dutch Fort World Heritage” submitted by the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura was accepted in August 2010 by the U.S. Embassy Colombo under its U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. Grant applications for assistance were signed by the Vice Chancellor Dr. N. L. A. Karunaratne on the 15th September 2011. The United States provided $100,005 USD that is Sri Lankan Rupees 12,083,050.25to fund the project.

The ceremony announcing the award was held on the 25th October 2011 at the auditorium of the Maritime Museum of Galle, with the participation of Venerable BaddegamaSamithaThero – Provincial Councilor of the Southern Province, Her Excellency Patricia A. Butenis – United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives,  Her Excellency Mrs. KumariBalasuriya – Governor of the Southern Province, Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratne – Vice Chancellor of the University, Mr. ParakramaDahanayake – Chairman of the Galle Heritage Foundation, and other dignitaries related to the administration of Galle Fort.

The project commenced on the 1st of October 2011. With the approval of the Council of the University the appointed following members as the project team.

Project Director – Professor Prashantha B. Mandawala

Project Co-Director – Literature Survey – Professor KannangaragePathmasiri

Project Co-Director – Archt. Prasanna B. Ratnayake

Project Co-Director – Ground Survey – Archt. JayatissaHerath

It has been decided to document the buildings located in Church Street and Pedlar Street as these two streets contain comparatively higher number of buildings with historical characteristics. Accordingly, seventy one buildings in Church Street were documented by Architect N.D. Nawaratne and his team on the contract awarded to him. Seventy eight buildings in Pedlar Street and forty one buildings located in the Galle Fort were also documented by Daghdha (Pvt.) Ltd. by a team led by SujikaKatupotha and NuwanTalgaspitiya on the contract awarded to the institution. All together 190 buildings were documented including few selected from other streets, under the project.  Copies of documented buildings were handed over to the Owners of buildings, the Galle Heritage Foundation, the Department of Archaeology, the Urban Development Authority, the Galle Municipal Council and the Southern Provincial Governor’s office. This coffee table publication carries a few significant buildings selected from the documented lot to give a glimpse of the total project to the interested general public.

Special Thanks to

  1. Her Excellency Patricia A. Butenis, Former U.S. Ambassador for Sri Lanka and Maldives
  2. Her Excellency Michele J. Sison, Former U.S. Ambassador for Sri Lanka and Maldives
  3. His Excellency AtulKeshap, U.S. Ambassador for Sri Lanka and Maldives
  4. Martin J. Perschler, the Cultural Heritage Program Manager of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP)
  5. Samanthi De Costa, Program Assistant, Office of Public Diplomacyof the U.S. Embassy

Participants of the Closing Down Ceremony

  1. Senior Lecturer Ven. DambaraAmilaThero, Department of History and Archaeology
  2. Maxwel Dos – All St. Church Galle
  3. LakmalWijerathne – Dutch Reform Church, Galle
  4. Robert Hilton, Deputy Chief of Mission, United State Embassy to Sri Lanka and Maldives
  5. James Russo, Public Affairs Officer,United State Embassy to Sri Lanka and Maldives
  6. Joseph Schaller, Cultural Affairs Officer, United State Embassy to Sri Lanka and Maldives
  7. Prof. Sampath Amaratunge, Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura
  8. Varuna de Silva, Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture, University of Moratuwarepresenting the Chairman of the Galle Heritage Foundation
  9. P.B. Mandawala, Acting Dean, Faculty of Technology
  10. PathmasiriKannagara, Department of History and Archaeology
  11. Lecturer Mr. OshanWedage, Department of History and Archaeology
  12. Lecturer Mr. KavsalyaAbenayake, Department of History and Archaeology
  13. Lecturer Mrs. UdayaNelumRatnayake, Department of History and Archaeology
  14. Lecturer Mr. DamithRanagala, Department of History and Archaeology
  15. Tutor Ms. GayathriWidanaPathirana, Department of History and Archaeology
  16. Tutor Ms. UpekshaPerera, Department of History and Archaeology
  17. LalSamarasekara – Secretary  to the Governor of the Southern Province
  18. Coordinating Secretary, Governor’s office of the Southern Province
  19. Assistant Commissioner, Galle Municipal Council
  20. Prasanna B. Ratnayake, Director Conservation, Department of Archaeology
  21. WasanthiAlahakoon, Assistant Director Galle/Mathara, Department of Archaeology
  22. Dais Wagachchi, Assistant Director, Central Cultural Fund
  23. Director, Provincial Engineering Office, Galle

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