Street scene, Kandy, Ceylon.
Photographer: Fiebig, Frederick
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph by Frederick Fiebig from an album of 70 handcoloured salt prints, showing a street scene at Kandy in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Fiebig's photographs of Ceylon, probably taken in 1852, are considered the earliest surviving photographic record of the island. Kandy, the cultural capital of the country, is located 72 miles inland from the present capital Colombo, in the central hill region. It is at an altitude of 500 ms or 1629 ft and the hills and the valleys of the great Mahaweli river render it picturesque. The terrain and the river acted as natural barriers and Kandy remained the last stronghold of the Sinhalese kings, evading European control for 300 years even as the coastal regions succumbed. It was the Sinhalese capital from the 15th century till the advent of British rule in 1815.