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Maritime and Naval History Museum

The Maritime and Naval History Museum is a relatively new museum in Trincomalee, as it has been in operation since 2013. Although a new addition, the museum is home to several ancient relics that go back to the days where trade relationships were just established in Sri Lanka, during the time of Marco Polo. Within the two-storey complex is a myriad of artefacts that explain how Sri Lanka, especially the port of Trincomalee, was used as an important docking point for many traders coming in from the far east. Located close to the historical Fort Frederick, the museum provides a good perspective on the history of how the Dutch set foot into the island during the 16th century, and eventually took control of the coastal regions.

What makes this museum all the more intriguing to many travellers, is the fact that the building itself was once the official residence of the Dutch Naval Commissioner during the 17th century. Thus, making the building itself an artefact of sorts, as it sports the typical tenets of neo-classical architecture. The further restoration that the Government of Sri Lanka undertook recently, makes it possible to reimagine how life would have been like for a high-ranking colonial. Make sure you explore both storeys, as it is arranged in a manner that will take you through maritime history in chronological order, along with the marine life that thrives under the azure waters.