Galle Face Green
|Galle Face Green|
|Location||Colombo in Sri Lanka|
|Operated by||Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka|
|Status||Open all year|
The Galle Face is a ocean-side promenade which stretches for a half kilometre along the coast in the heart of the financial and business district of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The promenade was initially laid out in 1859 by the Governor of British Ceylon, Sir Henry George Ward (1797–1860), although the original Galle Face Green extended over a much larger area than is seen today. The Galle Face Green was intially used for horse racing and as a golf course, but was also used for cricket, polo, football, tennis and rugby.
It was previously known as the Colpitty Race Course, with horse racing occurring there from the 1820s until 1893, when the races moved to the Colombo Racecourse.
In 1879, a number of British expatriates introduced golf to Ceylon playing on the Galle Face. It was there that they inaugurated the Colombo Golf Club without a clubhouse or a proper golf course. The club had its first Annual General Meeting on 13 March 1880 at the Colombo Club. Galle Face was becoming more and more crowded, what with sharing the ground with other sports enthusiasts and the general public and in 1896 the golf club moved to its present location in Borella.
The first rugby match was played at Galle Face was in 1879.
The first Royal–Thomian cricket match played between Royal College, Colombo and S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia was played in 1880 at Galle Face Grounds, which is today the site of the Taj Samudra Hotel.
The Galle Face Green is currently a 5 hectare ribbon strip of land between Galle Road and the Indian Ocean which is now the largest open space in Colombo. This is a popular destination for children, vendors, teenagers, lovers, kite flyers, merrymakers and all those who want to indulge in their favorite pastimes next to the sea under the open sky. On Saturday and Sunday evenings, the land is busy with day trippers, picnickers and food vendors. There are two large hotels that border the strip; the Ceylon Inter-Continental Hotel and at the other by the quaint Galle Face Hotel, one of Sri Lanka's oldest and most popular hotels, with a variety of old world charm including old furniture, hand carved doors, balconies and high ceilings.
Radio Ceylon and subsequently the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, the oldest radio station in South Asia, has recorded many programs here from their outside broadcast input in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Galle Face Green is administered and maintained by the Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka (UDA).
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