Famous Churches – The Wolvendaal Church,Wolvendaal,Colombo,Sri Lanka


The Wolvendaal Church,Wolvendaal,Colombo,Sri Lanka

The Roman Catholic Church is not the only Christian Church in Sri Lanka. The Dutch bought the Dutch Reformed Church, the British brought Anglican Church,  it also allowed other Protestant Churches, particularly the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, to operate here. All of these denominations exist in Sri Lanka, and it’s not hard to find their churches, particularly in Colombo but their congregations are small.

The Wolvendaal Church is a living edifice of the Dutch colonial architecture and a monument of the Dutch Christian zeal. The Wolvendaal Church is the oldest Protestant Church in use in Sri Lanka. The Wolvendaal Church was established in  1743 Construction of the church started in 1749 during the tenure of office of Governor Julius Valentijn Stein Van Gollenesse (1743-51). The name of the church derived from the place name Wolvendaal. When the Dutch took over the administration of Colombo and suburbs, the surroundings of the church came to be known as Wolvendaal (Valley of Wolves).  The Wolvendaal Church is situated on a higher elevation with a panoramic view, overlooking the Colombo Harbour and the fort. The Dutch chose to erect this magnificent church in Wolvendaal to replace the old Roman-Catholic church, the Church of St. Francis, located in the former Gordon Gardens (in the present Republic Square) in the Colombo Fort. The style of the building is Doric and the foundation takes the shape of a cross. It has been constructed with local material utilizing predominantly local labour, certainly with technical skills of the Dutch construction engineers at the time. The high roof in the middle of the building resembles a dome resting on strong walls of approximately five feet thickness built of kabok of unusually large size with coral and lime plaster. The original dome with its covering of blue Bangor slates had to be replaced due to the destruction that occurred in 1856 as a result of lightning. Later the slates were replaced with an iron covering.

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