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Arcade Independence Square, Colombo

(140+ reviews on the web)
Shopping Mall Shopping
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A former asylum built in the 1870's this series of buildings was a very sensitive restoration of a historical edifice, turned into a multi use complex from restaurants to shops and spas. Very photogen...  more »
  • Good for a short stroll, but very boring otherwise. Disappointing if shopping is in mind. Shopping scene in Colombo is very sad!  more »
  • a quick tour would be sufficient.. the building itself is lovingly restored with upmarket boutiques, some luxury shops, restaurant and etc. If only the management can enhance a bit of cultural side in...  more »
Google
  • A beautiful afternoon at Independence Square. Well maintained and an opportunity to see the old colonial architecture. The expansive green spaces, buildings and history captivate. No entry fee, ample parking, clean and safe. Lots to see or just hang out and enjoy the views. My second trip to Colombo and both times I took the time to visit this historic location. I would add it to the must visit locations when in the capitol city of Colombo.
  • Very beautiful place. Ample parking at main entrances and rear entrances from independent square. Renowned Branded shopping malls. Very good place to do family shopping. Seasonal offers are available for credit cards.
  • Good Place to hangout, meet friends. Have a bite. Good restaurants. Very classy. Outdoor fountain. And to top it off a place to have a relaxing jog.
  • Some good shops. Two cinemas with good facilities. Nice food court. Burger king is open till late on weekends.
  • If you are looking for designer brands this is a great place to shop. Or if you just want to relax at one of the restaurants or watch a film at the cinema this is a place that offers it all.