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Galle Face Green

Galle Face Green is a ribbon of land that stretches for half a kilometre along the coast of the Indian Ocean in central Colombo, measuring up to an area of five hectares. It was originally developed by the Dutch as a strategic line of cannon fire against the invading Portuguese, and stretched over a much larger area than what it is today. In 1859, Sir Henry George Ward (then Governor of British Ceylon) gave instructions for a promenade to be constructed alongside the seashore, to allow for women and children to walk through as they wished.

Over the years since the initial creation of this urban park, Galle Face Green has seen a variety of sports played on its grounds, including horse racing, golf, cricket, polo, football, tennis and rugby. Today, enclosed between the Indian Ocean on its western coast and Galle Road to its east, the area is the largest open space in Colombo. It is known to locals and visitors for hosting an array of street-food vendors that sell fresh cooked crabs and prawns, as well as spiced slices of mango. Galle Face Green is also known for its striking sunset views, featuring a horizon dotted with the colourful kites of locals. In December 2016, the area was also host to the world’s tallest artificial Christmas tree.

Galle Face Green is currently maintained by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) of Sri Lanka.