Wolvendaal Church, Colombo

3.5
Wolvendaal Church is located in Pettah, a neighbourhood of Colombo. It is one of the most important Dutch Colonial era buildings in Sri Lanka, and is one of the oldest Protestant churches still in use in the country.HistoryIn 1736 Governor of Ceylon, Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff, sought approval from the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) to demolish the existing church (Kasteel Kerk) within the Colombo Fort and construct a new one on the same site. However, the VOC refused this request, and it wasn't until the arrival of Governor Julius Valentyn Stein van Gollenesse in 1743 that the impasse was overcome. He decided that the new church would be erected in the area beyond the city walls, which at the time was swamp and marshland. The Europeans mistook the packs of roaming jackals for wolves, and the area became known as Wolvendaal (Wolf’s Dale or Wolf's Valley). The site that was selected was on a hill which commanded views across the town and over the harbour and was in proximity to the town’s entrance. The site was also occupied by a small church, which had existed from the earliest period of Dutch occupation, when the Wolvendaal neighbourhood was a quiet suburban parish.The foundations of the church were laid in 1749 and it took eight years to build. It was completed on 6 March 1757, when it was dedicated for public worship by Rev. Matthias Wirmelskircher, Rector of the Colombo Seminary. At the dedication there were two Governors present, Joan Gideon Loten and his successor Jan Schreuder, together with Members of the Council, Reverend Ministers (Predikants), prominent Burghers and their families. Use our Colombo attractions planner to arrange your visit to Wolvendaal Church and other attractions in Colombo.
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  • We tried so many times with various tuk tuk drivers to come here. Nobody knew where it was. It is actually the Dutch Reformed Church. I suggest saying this and they will most likely be able to...  more »
  • We wished to visit Wolvendaal Church three years ago for the first time we visited Sri Lanka. Finally, we were able to come and see here. The place is so iconic and belongs to the dutch period in Sri....  more »
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