The Historical Mansion Museum

The Historical Mansion Museum

If you think you’ve got a lot of old stuff in your cupboards, then you probably haven’t been to the Historical Mansion Museum. This restored Dutch house on Leyn Baan Street inside the Galle Fort, can best be described as a history hoarder’s paradise.

Within these walls, you will find rows, shelves and cupboards full of colonial artefacts, such as collections of antique typewriters, cameras, jewellery, VOC china and other miscellaneous items from yesteryear. There is also an old Dutch well in the courtyard dating back to the year 1763.

This fascinating and eccentric museum is the private collection of Abdul Gaffar, a long time resident of Galle. It may also very well be the largest private museum in Sri Lanka. However, unlike other museums, there is no entrance fee and everything here on display is also for sale.

In addition to the antiquities on display here, history also sometimes comes alive. You get to see live presentations of traditional crafts such as gem cutting and polishing, as well as the almost lost art of ‘beeralu lace’ embroidery, brought to us by the Portuguese. At the Historical Mansion Museum, time passes by unnoticed and that is definitely a good thing.

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