President's House, Colombo
|Town or city||Colombo|
|Client||Government of Sri Lanka|
After the British gained control of Sri Lanka from the Dutch, in 1804 the private house in the Colombo Fort, of the last Dutch Governor of Ceylon, Johan Gerard van Angelbeek, was taken over by the British and became the official residence of the Governor of Ceylon known as Government House but most commonly referred to as the King's House or the Queen's House depending on the monarch of that time.
Since independence in 1948 the house became the official residence of the Governor General of Ceylon. It was formally renamed as the President’s House in 1972 after Sri Lanka became a republic. William Gopallawa was the last Governor General and first President of Sri Lanka to reside at the house.
Set in about 4 acres (16,000 m2) of land, the residence gained further attraction when Governor Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon laid out the Gordon Gardens at his own expense in honour of Queen Victoria's golden jubilee celebrations in 1887. The Gardens boast of an amazing variety of trees and a marble statue of Queen Victoria which was removed from the gardens in 2006. Gordon Gardens was a public park opened to the public until 1980 when it was made part of the President's House and today off limits to the public. The site was the location for the 1881 Royal–Thomian.
In Sri Lanka, all distances from Colombo are measured, formally in miles, from the President's House. This practice began with the construction of the Colombo-Kandy road in 1830, which was the first modern highway in the island. Since then, most of the highways originate from Colombo.