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.
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  • It's the oldest Protestant Church in the country dating back to 1749. The wooden pulpit showed true craftsmanship and the stone floor has many gravestones of long forgotten governors. It has been cont...  more »
  • This historic building is in need of a coat of paint at the very least - it's a bit dilapidated. Didn't get to see the inside, it was Sunday & there was a service going on.  more »
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