Independence Square | A Historic Landmark In Colombo, Sri Lanka

independence square

Sri Lanka’s Independence Memorial Hall, usually called Independence Square, honors the nation’s February 4, 1948, declaration of independence from British domination. Located in Independence Square in Colombo, this place is historically significant as it was the venue of the first parliament meeting, which marked the start of self-governance. Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, graced the ceremony. In addition to being a symbol of national pride, the monument has a museum that gives visitors information on Sri Lanka’s path toward independence. The hall serves as a reminder of the country’s history and struggle for independence.

Before the Independence Memorial Hall stands a statue commemorating the first prime minister, Rt, Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake, also called “The Father of the Nation.” The Ceylon Senate and the House of Representatives met in this hall before moving into a new, magnificent building. They conduct religious ceremonies and celebrate the national holiday at that location. It serves as a location for celebrating significant occasions and bringing people together for get-togethers and celebrations, much like it did as a historical meeting place when meaningful choices were made.

Independence Square Colombo 

Independence Square is a public park that you can visit. You can get in from the south side using steps on 5th and Walnut, 6th and Walnut, or midblock on 5th or 6th Streets. If you use a wheelchair, there’s an accessible entrance on the north side. Just go through the security checkpoint at 5th and Chestnut Streets. Enjoy the park from any of these entrances, and have a great time exploring!

Importance of Independence Square

The purpose of Independence Square is to commemorate and honor the freedom of the only formed nation. Building independence and national unity was the aim. When completed in 1961, the square was a model for several African nations fighting for freedom from European colonial authority. Many saw it as an illustration of how a country can unite and stand independently. The square serves as a metaphor for power and freedom, demonstrating the interdependence of nations. It indicates to everybody that working together is essential to a brighter future.

Establishment of Independence Square

When Queen Elizabeth II visited Accra in 1961, Kwame Nkrumah, the country’s first president, built the Independence Arch. This arch represents Ghana’s struggle to get free of British domination. The arch was constructed by Nkrumah, an essential player in the nation’s independence campaign, to commemorate the historic milestone and highlight Ghana’s journey to self-government. It serves as a potent reminder of the country’s struggle and successful liberation from British imperial rule.

Independence Square Park

Independence Square is a large green park with about two acres, trees for shade, restrooms, a fountain, paths for walking, and an outdoor table area. The visit is free; however, because the ground grows heated throughout the day, it is advised to go before sunrise or after sunset.

Colombo’s Independence Square is home to a variety of events. You can explore the historic Arcade Independence Square for dining and shopping, stroll around the lovely park, or just lounge on the grass. In addition to being a fantastic location for photographs, the area is often the site of festivities and activities, particularly on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day.

Arcade Independence Square

The Arcade Independence Square in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is a location with a rich history in addition to being a shopping center. The national government established the Independence Square Redevelopment program, which included its development.

Historical Background

Built as the Jawatta Lunatic Asylum (also called the Cinnamon Gardens Asylum) in 1889, the original intention was to accommodate residents. In 1875, principal civil medical officer Dr. W. R. Kynsey’s proposals led to the decision, ruled over by Sir William Gregory, to construct a new asylum. Construction didn’t commence until 1879, and it faced delays until 1882 due to challenges with the site and design. The building included a border wall, two patient wings with enough for 400 patients, and an entrance block.

Sir James Longdon, the governor, stepped in to speed up construction. He used the facility’s simple, one-story architecture and lack of costly decoration to argue for its high cost. Because of the weather, the walls were brick-covered, and the structure had a plain clock tower over the entrance.

Despite its completion, the Jawatta Asylum, with a capacity for over 500 people, faced overcrowding. In 1917, a more significant institution was erected in Angoda, and by 1926, authorities relocated all patients from Jawatta.

The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), the Public Administration Department, the Auditor General’s Department, and eventually the Government Analyst’s Department were among the government departments that occupied the building over time.

Arcade Independence Square redevelopment

They transformed the ancient structure into the Arcade Independence Square as part of the Independence Redevelopment initiative. The goal of the renovation was to keep the building’s significance while putting it to new uses.

Current Situation and Features

Today, The Arcade Independence Square is a busy retail center covering almost two acres. It has expansive lawns, shaded spots under trees, restrooms, a fountain, paths, and a patio with chairs. The historical Western Provincial Council Building and Jawatta Lunatic Asylum are two refurbished structures that add to the commercial complex’s distinctive charm. 

The Arcade Independence Square is both a modern retail attraction and a historical marker of Sri Lanka, with each stage of its development reflecting the changing needs and roles of the population it serves.

Arcade Independence Square booking

This place is open every day from 9:00 to 20:00 without needing a reservation or incurring any charges. You can phone 077 789 8386 on weekdays to arrange reservations for events or photo sessions. To ensure your satisfaction during your daily visit, enjoy your visit to Arcade Independence Square; during regular hours, no advance payment or bookings are necessary.

Arcade Independence Square Cinema 

Arcade Independence Square has a movie theater where you can see movies, including Colombo. Watch the newest movies in a cozy environment with all the conveniences of today. Discover the showtimes by consulting the schedule and relish a cinematic encounter in the center of Colombo, Sri Lanka. However, it is not currently operated. 

Wrapping up…

Independence Square is still a beloved location for religious events, National Day celebrations, and a museum dedicated to maintaining the country’s rich history. Moreover, this place captures the energy and resilience of Sri Lanka, whether one walks through its green surroundings, remembers memorable events, or looks back on the past.


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