Old Dutch Trade Centre
A Unique Design
Believed to have been built by the Dutch in 1775, right after the construction of the Star Fort, the Old Dutch Trade Centre, also known as the Nupe Market is one of the many overlooked vestiges of the colonial era that narrate an everlasting story of how Matara was a centre for trade and commercial activity between colonial powerhouses, and other nations. The building is built in a distinctive ‘T’ shape which is perfectly symmetrical, further reflecting the neo-palladian style used in the construction of the commercial structure. However, the roof of the building showcases a more local twist, as the tiles and the style used to construct the roof stems from the Kandyan Kingdom.
The Trade Centre Today
As the years have gone by, the complex was left in a state of decay but was eventually restored by the Department of Archaeology in the 1980s. Presently, the Old Dutch Trade Centre still showcases how it would have been during its heyday, as it still reverberates with commercial activity. The only difference being the absence of vendors of essential goods, but vendors of various cottage industries that sell some interesting articles that make for perfect souvenirs to take back when your journey is at an end.