Arcade Independence Square, Colombo

4.0
#7 of 32 in Shopping in Colombo
The Arcade Independence Square is a shopping complex housed in a group of renovated buildings including the former Jawatta Lunatic Asylum and the former Western Provincial Council Building. It was built as a part of the Independence Square Redevelopment programme initiated by the Sri Lankan Government.HistoryThe building was originally constructed in 1889, as a lunatic asylum, Jawatta Lunatic Asylum (also known as the Cinnamon Gardens Asylum), for Rs 450,000. In 1875 the then Governor, Sir William Gregory, based on the recommendations of the Principal Civil Medical Officer, Dr. W R Kynsey, decided to build a new aylum to replace the existing facility at Borella. Issues over the location and design meant that construction did not commence until 1879, following the intervention of the new Governor, Sir James Longdon. Even then further construction of the building was delayed until 1882. The building consisted of an entrance block, two patient wings (accommodating 400 patients) connected to the central administration and a boundary wall. Longdon defended the cost of the facility stating at the time, "The asylum is a series of one-storey buildings of the plainest type. The walls are of brick plastered, because of the climate plastering is found requisite for the preservation of buildings. There is no expensive ornamentation, or indeed any ornament at all, unless a short ungraceful and inexpensive tower over the entrance designed for the clock can be called an ornament. The enclosing walls are of ordinary cabook, such as is universally used for garden walls in Colombo." The Jawatta Asylum suffered from overcrowding within years of completion, housing over 500 patients. In 1917 a new larger facility was constructed at Angoda, with all the patients being transferred from Jawatta by 1926.
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Arcade Independence Square Reviews
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162 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • I usually don't like writing negative reviews, and try to see the best in all situations. However, yesterday early evening, my family and I visited this supposedly excellent shopping maul. Yes, it is ...  more »
  • There are some branded shops and few boutiques.I spent some time in t-Lounge by Dilmah and it was great.  more »
  • This arcade is located beside Independence Square in Colombo and is a very popular destination for local people and tourists who are interested in 'top end' shopping and visiting some of the interesti...  more »
Google
  • Nice place to hangout with your friends, family or some one else. located near to Independence Square and middle of few walking paths and grate landscapes. good place for quick shopping visit and lots of Branded outlets available. you can also try many food outlets and restaurants. enough parking available. good service and well maintained. busy in evenings and weekends.
  • Pretty good mall with several stores and restaurants. What we especially liked are the very pretty buildings themselves. It's housed in a group of renovated buildings including the former Jawatta Lunatic Asylum and the former Western Provincial Council Building. At the moment the only way to find out what the history is, is looking online. They should start providing information about the buildings and locations themselves by placing historic plaques.
  • Nice place to go with friends are hang out at after a jog. you can cool down with some bubble tea. The movie theater is really nice compared to the others in the city. reminds me of England where all the theaters look like this lol.
  • A very nice place for a quite evening. A bit of shopping and some good food can be hand. The lighting is very well done and sometime the walk through the corridors does give an strange feeling, given the historical facts behind it.
  • It's a lovely place with ample parking and great landscaping. Lots of shops and other stuff present too. Prices at most shops are kinda expensive. It's a good place to hangout

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Despite its relatively low cost of living, Colombo accommodations tend to be fairly pricey. Close to the sea and the lake, as well as near the city's parks and the plazas, hotels come in the form of old colonial buildings and ultra-modern high rises, with a decent selection of each to choose from. Budget-conscious travelers should pay attention to the short rental options in the town's more residential areas, or look for the smattering of simple, but serviceable options close to the main train stations, and on the side streets set back from the waterfront.
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