Portuguese Ceylon

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Portuguese Ceylon
Ceilão Português
Portuguese colony




Flag Coat of arms
Maximum extent of Portuguese rule in Ceylon in blue
Capital Colombo
Languages Portuguese, Tamil, Sinhala
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 Colonialism
 •  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 Português, Sinhala: පෘතුගීසි ලංකාව Patugisi Lankava) was a 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. Christianization attempts 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 most of Portugal's Asian 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.

Part of a series on the
History of Kandy
Temple of the Tooth, Kandy
Kingdom of Kandy (1469–1815)
Colonial Kandy (1815–1948)
Kandy (1948–present)
See also
Sri Lanka portal


Portuguese Captains of Ceilão (1518–1551)[edit]

Portuguese Captain-majors of Ceilão (1551–1594)[edit]

Portuguese Governors of Ceilão (1594–1658)[edit]

See also[edit]