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Portuguese colony



Flag Coat of arms
Maximum Portuguese expiation in Ceylon
Capital Colombo
Language(s) Portuguese
Political structure Colony
 - 1518-1518 João da Silveira
 - 1522-1524 Fernão Gomes de Lemos
 - 1551-1552 João Henriques
 - 1591-1594 Pedro Homem Pereira
 - 1594-1594 Pedro Lopes de Sousa
 - 1656-1658 António de Amaral de Meneses
Historical era Imperialism
 - Contact and trade with the Kotte Kingdom 15 August 1505
 - Fall of Portuguese Ceylon 14 January 1658
Currency Portuguese Tanga (TCP)

Portuguese Ceylon (Portuguese: Ceilão) was a former Portuguese territory in present-day Sri Lanka, representing a period in Sri Lankan history from 1505–1658. The Portuguese first encountered the Ceylonese kingdom of Kotte, with whom they signed a treaty. Portuguese Ceylon was established through the occupation of Kotte and the conquest of surrounding Sinhalese kingdoms. In 1565 the capital of Portuguese Ceylon was moved from Kotte to Colombo. The introduction of Christianity by the Portuguese furthered friction with the Sinhalese people.

Eventually, the Ceylonese sought help from the Dutch Empire in their struggle for liberation. The Dutch Empire initially entered into agreement with the Kingdom of Kandy. After the collapse of the Iberian economy in 1627, the Dutch-Portuguese War saw the Dutch conquest of Portugal's Asiatic colonies. Eventually, Portugal's Ceylonese territories were ceded to the Netherlands. Nevertheless, there remain elements of Portuguese culture in Sri Lanka today from this colonial period.


Portuguese Captains of Ceilão (1518–1551)

Portuguese Captain-majors of Ceilão (1551–1594)

Portuguese Governors of Ceilão (1594–1658)

See also


  • Portuguese History in Ceylon
  • C. Gaston Pereira, Kandy fights the Portuguese. Sri Lanka: Vijitha Yapa Publications, July 2007. ISBN 9789551266776
  • Channa Wicremasekera, Kandy at War. Sri Lanka: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2004. ISBN 9558095524
  • Michael Roberts, Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period. Sri Lanka: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2004. ISBN 9558095311
  • Abeysinghe, Tikiri (2005). Jaffna under the Portuguese. Colombo: Stamford Lake. p. 66. ISBN 9-55-1131-70-1.  
  • Kunarasa, K (2003). The Jaffna Dynasty. Johor Bahru: Dynasty of Jaffna King’s Historical Society. p. 122. ISBN 9-55-8455-00-8.  
  • Gnanaprakasar, Swamy (2003). A Critical History of Jaffna (review of Yalpana Vaipava Malai). New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. p. 122. ISBN 81-206-1686-3.  


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