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3/5

The Old Town Hall Museum

Main Street Roundabout, Colombo 1

  • Open roughly 9 AM to 6 PM


At the end of Main Street, Pettah, there is a forgotten museum. The Old Town Hall Museum houses a variety of very heavy memorabilia from the city's past - steam-rollers, street signs, printing presses, manhole covers. It's both mundane and wonderful, housed in an open and elegant space, ignored by the swirling commerce around.



At the end of Main Street, Pettah, there is a forgotten museum. The Old Town Hall Museum houses a variety of very heavy memorabilia from the city's past - steam-rollers, street signs, printing presses, manhole covers. It's both mundane and wonderful, housed in an open and elegant space, ignored by the swirling commerce around.

The Location

The Old Colombo Town Hall is at the end of Main Street in Pettah. You almost wouldn't notice it. In between vendors selling knives there's an open gate that leads to what is now a fire station (if you knew we had one). That is the Old Town Hall. You can still go upstairs and see the amazing windows and architecture and - if you're lucky - wax figures of an ancient town council seated around a table. But for the museum, walk past that entrance. To your left you'll see an open courtyard. That's it.

The Stuff

Signposts At Old Town Hall Museum

There are a variety of strange and beautiful things in this random museum. For example, they have moved the original signpost (directing people to Ward Place, Union Place, Maradana) from outside to inside. You can see it and imagine those old horse-drawn days.

Old Town Hall Museum Van

 

There's also old Municipal Council vehicles and equipment, like a deflated van under a sign reading "Wheels of service, often thankless".

Old Town Hall Museum Plaque For Galle Face Walk There's also what we think is the original plaque for Galle Face Green. Not sure what it's doing here.

Caretaker Taking Care At Old Town Hall Museum

This is the caretaker, who seems to live here, using an old water pump to prop up his mirror and comb his hair. If you're lucky he'll be able to let you in to see the wax figures next door.

New Town Hall Model At Old Town Hall Museum

Then, of course, there's a model of the Town Hall that replaced this one.

There is no service, there are no tickets, it's just a very weird place with old things, the most rudimentary definition of a museum. It's a really interesting place if you don't expect much, the most interesting if you just stumble upon it.

TIP

Tip. If you know what I mean.

Address

Main Street Roundabout, Colombo 1

Directions

Leaving Fort, head North towards Pettah. At the Khan Clock Tower, turn right and head down Main Street. Main Street ends at a roundabout. The Old Town Hall is directly to your right, and the museum space is on the right side of the building.

Report Inaccuracy

Open roughly 9 AM to 6 PM

Price Range

Less than 200

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
3
Quality Rating
4
Service Rating
4
Ambience Rating
4
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User Reviews
Avatar for janith
9

4/5

0

janith

Once visited the place at dusk. There's a museum of sorts upstairs inside the building too, and it has some very creepy wooden carvings of the town council members from the early days… Very creepy and fascinating at the same time, has some old typewriters and stuff as well.

Avatar for janith
9

4/5

0

janith

Once visited the place at dusk. There's a museum of sorts upstairs inside the building too, and it has some very creepy wooden carvings of the town council members from the early days… Very creepy and fascinating at the same time, has some old typewriters and stuff as well.

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