Colombo, from Galle Face
Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Colombo taken from Galle Face, by Bourne and Shepherd in c.1870. This view looks across a lake with figures, carts and animals in the foreground. Galle Face is a windswept open area, traversed by the route down south towards Galle. The capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a major commercial centre and port on the western coast of the island. It had long been a significant port for Arab traders, frequented in medieval times by vessels from the Persian Gulf, China and other Asian countries. From the 16th century, it evolved under various European powers, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. The modern metropolis and harbour were developed under British rule. Colombo, with the improvements to its harbour undertaken by the British, supplanted Galle as the main port of the island in the latter half of the 19th century.