Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Map (1681). Robert Knox. An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon.
Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Map (1681). Robert Knox. An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon.

Sri Lanka (Ceylon). List of Portuguese colonial forts and possessions

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster.

SRI LANKA (CEYLON):

Portuguese: 1518 – 1597 the Kingdom of Kotte is tributary to Portugal.

Portuguese: 1597: the whole of the territory of the Kingdom of Kotte is under the control of the Portuguese, they control four Provinces or Disawani: Matara (along the sea coast from Kotte to Walawe Ganga), Saparagamuwa (north of Matara province, inland from Walawe Ganga to the mountains), Four Korales (beyond the Kelani Ganga), Seven Korales (north of the Four Korales to Anuradhapura forests).

Portuguese: At the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese ruled over about 4,640 villages in the Kingdom of Kotte.

COASTAL FORTS AND SETTLEMENTS:

Colombo: (06°56’N – 79°51’E) Fortaleza de Santa Barbara or Nossa Senhora das Virtudes (1518-1524) Fortaleza de Colombo (1554) (Santa Cruz, São João, São Estevão, São Sebastião, Madre de Deus, São Jerónimo and Mapane bastions)

Portuguese: 1518 fort – 1524 the fort is dismantled

Portuguese: 1554 fort – 12 May 1656

to The Netherlands

Flores “Os Portugueses e o mar de Ceilão 1498-1543” Winius “The fatal history of Portuguese Ceylon: transition to Dutch rule” Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands”

Galle or Gale: (06°02’N – 80°13’E) Forte Santa Cruz

Portuguese: 1587 sacking by Portuguese, 1597small fort on a hillock, 1620 new fort on the promontory – 13 Mar. 1640

to The Netherlands

Winius “The fatal history of Portuguese Ceylon: transition to Dutch rule” Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Negombo: (07°13’N – 79°50’E) Forte de Negombo (Nossa Senhora da Vitória, Espírito Santo and São Lourenço bastions) triangular fort with three bulwarks.

Portuguese: 1574 sacking by Portuguese, 1590s. fort – 9 Feb. 1640

to The Netherlands (9 Feb. 1640 – 8 Nov. 1640)

Portuguese: 8 Nov. 1640 – 9 Jan. 1644

to The Netherlands

Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands” Danvers “The Portuguese in India” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Calituré (Kalutara): (06°35’N – 79°59’E) quadrangular fort with two bastions.

Portuguese: 1574 sacking by the Portuguese, 1596 small fort, 1621 fort – Aug./Sep. 1630

to Kandy (Aug./Sep. 1630 – 1632)

Portuguese: 1632 – 16 ?

to the Netherlands (16 ? – Mar 1654)

Portuguese: Mar 1654 – 14* Oct. 1655 * 15 Oct. 1655 Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands”

to The Netherlands

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Matara: (05°57’N – 80°32’E)

Portuguese: 1587 sacking by Portuguese, 15? tranqueira or wooden fort –

to Kandy (1630 – 1632) ?

Portuguese: 1632 – 164 ?

to the Netherlands

Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Chilaw: (07°34’N – 79°48’E)

Portuguese: 1590s./1600s. fort, later abandoned

C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Puttalam: (08°02’N – 79°50’E)

Portuguese: 1620s. stockade

C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Manar or Mannar: (08°58’N – 79°53’E) Forte Sao Jorge square-shaped fort

Portuguese: 1560 fort – 22 Feb. 1658

to The Netherlands

Danvers “The Portuguese in India” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Aripo (Arippu): (08°47’N – 79°56’E) small fort

Portuguese: ? – 1658

Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands”

Cardiva or Ilha de Cardigar (Kalpitya): (08°14’N – 79°45’E)

Portuguese: fort ?

Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands”

Jaffna or Jaffnapatao: (09°40’N – 80’°01’E) Fortaleza Nossa Senhora dos Milagres (15 Aug. 1620)

Portuguese: 1560 the Kingdom is conquered, but then abandoned in the same year

Portuguese: 1591 conquered, a puppet king is installed on the throne

Portuguese: Aug./Sep. 1618 rebellion of Portuguese Casados and Christians

Portuguese: 1619 conquered, 15 Aug. 1620 fort – 22* Jun. 1658 * 21 Jun 1658 Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands”

to The Netherlands

Winius “The fatal history of Portuguese Ceylon: transition to Dutch rule” Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” Danvers “The Portuguese in India” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Kayts (island near Jaffna): (09°41’N – 79°51’E)

Portuguese: 162 ? small fort – ?

to The Netherlands

Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Fortaleza do Cais dos Elefantes (near Jaffna): (09°42’N – 79°51’E) Fortaleza do Cais dos Elefantes

Portuguese: ? fort – Mar. 1658

to The Netherlands

Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands”

Ponta das Pedras (Point Pedro): (09°49’N – 80°08’E)

Portuguese: ? fort – ?

Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands”

Delft island or Ilha das Vacas (Neduntivu): circa (09°32’N – 79°43’E)

Portuguese: blockhouse

Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands”

Pooneryn: (09°30’N – 80°12’E)

Portuguese: fort ?

Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands” 

Triquinimale or Trincomalee: (08°35’N – 81°15’E) Fortaleza de Triquinimale (1623) (São Tiago, Santa Cruz, Santo António bastions) triangular fort with three bastions

Portuguese: Jul. 1623 fort – 2 May 1639

to The Netherlands

C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” 

Batticaloa (Puliyantivu island): (07°42’N – 81°42’E) Forte Nossa Senhora da Penha de França (1628)

Portuguese: Jul. 1628 fort – 18 May 1638

to The Netherlands

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Mutwal (a few Km north of Colombo): (06°59’N – 79°52’E) Portuguese defense for the siege of Colombo

Portuguese: ? – 18 Oct 1655

to The Netherlands

INLAND FORTS AND SETTLEMENTS:

Malwana: (06°57’N – 80°00’E) Forte Santa Helena (1626) Square shaped fort, Portuguese headquarters residence of the Captain-General.

Portuguese: 1590s. tranqueira (wooden fort), 1626 fort – Aug./Sep. 1630

to Kandy (Aug./Sep. 1630 – Jan. 1632)

Portuguese: Jan. 1632 – ?

Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Manicavare (Menikkadawara): circa (07°11’N – 80°13’E) Forte Santa Fé and Cidadela do Forte Cruz (1626) (São Tiago, São Boa Ventura, São Jorge and São Pedro bastions) rectangular fort with four bastions

Portuguese: Jan. 1599 tranqueira (wooden fort, base camp) – Apr. 1603

to Kandy (Apr. 1603 – 160 ? )

Portuguese: 160? , Oct. 1626 fort – Nov. 1630

to Kandy (Nov. 1630 – 163 )

Portuguese: 163? – ?

Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Saburagamuwa (Ratnapura): (06°42’N – 80°23’E) Forte Santa Cruz

Portuguese: ? fort – 1617

to Kandy (1617 – Mar./Apr. 1617)

Portuguese: Mar./Apr.1617 – end 1617

to Kandy (end 1617 – 1618)

Portuguese: 1618 – Sep. 1630

to Kandy (Sep. 1630 – 163?)

Portuguese: 163? – ?

Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Sitawaka (Avissawella): (06°57’N – 80°13’E)

Portuguese: 1547 or 1548 conquered and sacked, then abandoned

Portuguese: 1550 conquered and sacked, then abandoned

Portuguese: 1593 occupied – 1596 ? abandoned

Portuguese: 1595/7 tranqueira (wooden fort)

to Kandy (1630 – ?)

to The Netherlands

Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands” 

Ruwanwella or Ruwanella: (07°03’N – 80°15’E) tranqueira (wooden fort), base camp

Portuguese: 1590s./1600s.

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Abeyasinghe “Portuguese rule in Ceylon 1594-1612” 

Mottapuliya: circa (07°18’N – 80°24’E) tranqueira (wooden fort)

Portuguese: 1590s./1600s.

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Abeyasinghe “Portuguese rule in Ceylon 1594-1612”

Diyasunnata: circa (07°19’N – 80°26’E) tranqueira (wooden fort)

Portuguese: 1590s./1600s.

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Abeyasinghe “Portuguese rule in Ceylon 1594-1612”

Demunugashinna: (?) tranqueira (wooden fort)

Portuguese: 1590s./1600s.

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Abeyasinghe “Portuguese rule in Ceylon 1594-1612”

Attapitiya: circa (07°07’N – 80°28’E) tranqueira (wooden fort)

Portuguese: 1590s./1600s. – ?

to Kandy (? – 1634)

Portuguese: 1634 – ?

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Abeyasinghe “Portuguese rule in Ceylon 1594-1612” Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” 

Kuruwita: circa (06°48’N – 80°22’E) tranqueira (wooden fort)

Portuguese: 1590s./1600s.

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Abeyasinghe “Portuguese rule in Ceylon 1594-1612”

Batugedara: circa (06°41’N – 80°26’E) tranqueira (wooden fort)

Portuguese: 1590s./1600s.

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Abeyasinghe “Portuguese rule in Ceylon 1594-1612”

Gurubewila (Hanwella): (06°54’N – 80°04’E) tranqueira (wooden fort)

Portuguese: 1590s./1600s. – 16??

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Abeyasinghe “Portuguese rule in Ceylon 1594-1612” Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” Brohier “Links between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands” 

Ganetenna (Wadiyatenna ?): circa (07°10’N – 80°30’E)

Portuguese: 1599 ? tranqueira (wooden fort)

Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” Abeyasinghe “Portuguese rule in Ceylon 1594-1612” Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese”

Gannoruwa: (07°16’N – 80°36’E)

Portuguese: 1593 Portuguese garrison – ?

C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Balane: circa (07°15’N – 80°30’E)

Portuguese: Feb. 1603 fort – ?

Portuguese: 1611- 1617

to Kandy

1617 –

to Kandy

Portuguese: Mar. 1629 occupied and burnt.

Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Buddassagoda: circa (07°12’N – 80°31’E)

Portuguese: fort

Anguruwantota: (06°38’N – 80°05’E)

Portuguese: ? – ?

Portuguese: 1653 – ?

to The Netherlands

Gandolaha or Gandole: ?

Portuguese: 1632 Portuguese garrison – ?

C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Etgala Tota: circa (07°19’N – 80°20’E)

Portuguese: 1598 occupied – 1599 ? abandoned

Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese”

Uduwara: (06°37’N – 80°04’E)

Portuguese: 1596 ? – ?

Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” 

Kaduwala: circa (06°56’N – 80°00’E)

Portuguese: 1593 occupied – ?

Portuguese: Jan. 1632 or 33 ? occupied – ?

Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese”

Vadaruwa (16 miles west of Methiangane): 

1Portuguese: 632 stockade

Peliyagoda (3 miles from Colombo): (06°58’N – 79°53’E) fortified settlement of Lascarins

Portuguese: 1626 – 1630

C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638” 

Mulleriyawa (6 miles W. of Colombo): (06°57’N – 79°56’E) Tranqueira Grande (1626) fortified settlement of Lascarins

Portuguese: 1626 – 1630

C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638”

Kotte: (06°53’N – 79°54’E)

Portuguese: 1524 feitoria ?

Portuguese: Oct. 1550 – July 1565 abandoned, the capital is moved to Colombo.

Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese”

Badulla (Uva): (06°59’N – 81°03’E)

Portuguese: 18 Aug. 1630 – 21 Aug. 1630 abandoned

C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638”

Candea or Senkadagala Nuwara (Kandy): (07°17’N – 80°38’E)

Portuguese: 6 July 1594 – 5 October 1594

Queyroz, F. “The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon” pp. 482-487

Portuguese: Conquered and sacked several times (1593, 1594, 1603, 1611, Jun. 1629, 27 Mar. 1638) then abandoned

Portuguese: (1617 – 1628) and (1634 – 1638) tributary of Portugal

Pieris “Ceylon and the Portuguese” Winius “The fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon” C.R. de Silva “The Portuguese in Ceylon 1617-1638”

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