Place Colombo

Royal College, Colombo is a selective entry boys’ school located in Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Started as a private school by Rev Joseph Marsh in 1835, it was established as the Colombo Academy by Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton in January 1836, as part of the implementation of the recommendations of the Colebrooke Cameron Commission , and was the first government-run secondary school for boys in the island.
Royal College is the first public school in Sri Lanka and is often referred to as the “Eton of Sri Lanka”. The school was founded in the British public school tradition, based on the recommendations of the Colebrooke Cameron Commission , and having been named the Royal College, Colombo in 1881 with consent from Queen Victoria, it became the first school to gain the prefix, “Royal”, outside of the British Isles and it was one of the first schools to be designated as a national school by the Sri Lankan Government in the 1980s.
As a national school, it is funded by the government as opposed to the provincial council providing both primary and secondary education. The school was set as one of the most innovative educational institutions in the world at the fifth annual Worldwide Innovative Education Forum , organised by the Microsoft Corporation in 2009.Students of Royal College are known as Royalists whilst past pupils are known as Old Royalists. The school has produced many distinguished alumni, among whom are presidents of two countries, a sultan, and three prime ministers.

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Atlas Obscura 2021
Galle Fort

Discover Galle Fort in Galle, Sri Lanka: This fort dates back to 1588 and was colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch, and English and sits prominently on the Indian Ocean where azure water lap the coast.

Atlas Obscura 2022
Kushtarajagala Statue

Discover Kushtarajagala Statue in Weligama, Sri Lanka: Does this 10-foot-tall statue carved into a rock face depict a king afflicted by a skin condition or a Buddhist figure?

Atlas Obscura 2020
Dambulla Royal Cave Temple

Discover Dambulla Royal Cave Temple in Dambulla, Sri Lanka: This ancient cave temple complex is the largest and best-preserved temple complex in Sri Lanka.

Atlas Obscura 2018
Kayman’s Gate Bell Tower

Discover Kayman’s Gate Bell Tower in Colombo, Sri Lanka: A neglected bell tower in modern Colombo is a symbol of the city's colonial past.

Atlas Obscura 2018
Pettah Floating Market

Discover Pettah Floating Market in Colombo, Sri Lanka: Pettah's beautiful floating market was once a stinky canal in a sketchy industrial area.

Atlas Obscura 2018
Sambodhi Chaithya

Discover Sambodhi Chaithya in Colombo, Sri Lanka: This space rocket-like Buddhist stupa sits atop two giant arches and can be seen from out at sea.

World Heritage Site 1988
Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications

Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, before the arrival of the British. It is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia, showing the in…

Atlas Obscura 2017
Mackwoods Tea Plantation Sign

Discover Mackwoods Tea Plantation Sign in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka: A Sri Lankan tea factory's ironic take on the Los Angeles landmark.

Atlas Obscura 2018
Kande Vihara

Discover Kande Vihara in Beruwala, Sri Lanka: This amazing mountain temple is topped by one of the tallest sitting Buddha statues in the world.

Nuwara Eliya
Atlas Obscura 2020
The Main Line

Discover The Main Line in Nanuoya, Sri Lanka: Known as the most scenic route in Sri Lanka, this train line is steeped in history and offers an unparalleled view of the country.

World Heritage Site 2010
Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s highlands are situated in the south-central part of the island. The property comprises the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest. These montane forests, where the land rises to 2…

Atlas Obscura 2018
Brief Garden

Discover Brief Garden in Kirantidiya, Sri Lanka: This luscious masterpiece created by landscape designer Bevis Bawa inspired the work of his brother, a famous Sri Lankan architect.

Atlas Obscura 2017
Red Mosque

Discover Jami Ul-Alfar Masjid (Red Mosque) in Colombo, Sri Lanka: This mesmerizing architectural wonder will take your breath away with its unusual color patterns.

World Heritage Site 1988
Sacred City of Kandy

This sacred Buddhist site, popularly known as the city of Senkadagalapura, was the last capital of the Sinhala kings whose patronage enabled the Dinahala culture to flourish for more than 2,500 years until the occupation of Sri Lanka by the British in 1…

Atlas Obscura 2017
Richmond Castle in Kalutara

Discover Richmond Castle in Kalutara in Kalutara, Sri Lanka: This palatial, 99-doored Colonial mansion is a marvel of architectural fusion.

Atlas Obscura 2017
The Site of One of Sri Lanka’s Oldest Human Settlements

Archaeologists discovered skulls around 37,000 years old in Pahiyangala Cave.

World Heritage Site 1988
Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Located in south-west Sri Lanka, Sinharaja is the country’s last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. There is much endemic wildlife, especially birds, but the reserve i…

World Heritage Site 1991
Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple

A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 m2 ) are of particular importance, as are…

Atlas Obscura 2018
Sri Lanka Planetarium

Discover Sri Lanka Planetarium in Colombo, Sri Lanka: The first and only planetarium in Sri Lanka.

Atlas Obscura 2018
Isipathanaramaya Temple

Discover Isipathanaramaya Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka: This peaceful sanctuary is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Colombo.