Ratnapura Portuguese Fort – රත්නපුර පෘතුගීසි බලකොටුව

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The Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka in 1505 through the Galle Port. Later the Portuguese army came through Arandara and Ruwanwella and captured Ratnapura. During the Portuguese occupation of Ratnapura, they demolished the ancient Ratnapura Maha Saman Devalaya  and built a Fort and a church on this place. Later the King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe of Kandyan Kingdom re captured the Ratnapura, destroyed the church and the Ratnapura fort and built a temple on the site (Maha Saman Devalaya) on the site.

With the demise of Sitawaka Rajasinghe, the Portuguese marched towards Sitawaka destroying and looting temples on the way. These included Delgamuwa Raja Maha Viharaya, Ratnapura Maha Saman Devalaya and Pothgul Viharaya which were highly venerated by the Buddhists.  The Ratnapura Fort and a church was built on the ground of Saman Devalaya around 1618-1620 by the Portuguese.

Later the King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe of Kandyan Kingdom re captured the Ratnapura, destroyed the church and the Portuguese  Fort at Ratnapura and built a temple (Maha Saman Devalaya) on the site.

The Dutch rebuilt a fort at Ratnapura using a higher ground where the current town lies.  This fort was covering an area where the Police Station, Public Library and the Old Kachcheri is now located.

There is a little Portuguese church with a Portuguese stone slab on a wall. Some of the walls and a stone slab are said to remain today.

Also See

Map of  fort at  Ratnapura Portuguese Fort

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites.

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Driving Directions to Portuguese  Ratnapura Portuguese Fort (Maha Saman Devalaya – Ratnapura)

Route I from Colombo to Ratnapura Portuguese Fort

Route II from Colombo to Ratnapura Portuguese Fort

Through : Homagama – Bandaragama – Horana – Ratnapura
Distance :93 km
Travel time : 2.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through :Awissawella
Distance :92 km
Travel time : 2.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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