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Colombo

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Towers of downtown Colombo
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Towers of downtown Colombo

Colombo (derived from Sinhalese name Kola-amba-thota which means "mango harbour", altered by the Portuguese to honour Christopher Columbus), population 737,396 (Colombo metropolitan area: 2,234,289) (2001), is the cultural capital and largest city and commercial center of Sri Lanka. (The new administrative capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenepura-Kotte.) Colombo is located at 6°54' North, 79°50' East (6.90, 79.8333).

A vast majority of Sri Lankan corporations have their head offices located in Colombo. Some of the industries include chemicals, textiles, glass, cement, leather goods, furniture, and jewelry. An oil refinery is located near the city.

Colombo was probably known to Roman, Arab, and Chinese traders more than 2,000 years ago. Muslims settled there in the 8th century and controlled much of the trade between Sinhalese kingdoms and the outside world. The Portuguese arrived in the 16th century and built a fort to protect their spice trade. The Dutch captured the city in the 17th century. The British made the city the capital of their crown colony of Ceylon in 1802.

The University of Colombo, several colleges, an observatory, a national museum, and numerous churches, mosques, and Buddhist and Hindu temples are in Colombo; on the outskirts are two Buddhist universities. The city has some of the best modern infrastructure in South Asia including the biggest port of the subcontinent.

The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, formerly known as Radio Ceylon, is situated in Colombo. The SLBC is the oldest radio station in South Asia.

Related topics

da:Colombo de:Colombo eo:Kolombo (urbo) fr:Colombo hi:कोलंबो io:Colombo nl:Colombo ja:コロンボ no:Colombo pt:Colombo sk:Kolombo fi:Colombo sv:Colombo zh:可倫坡

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