Sri Lanka’s rich colonial heritage – a blend of Asian and European influences that extends to furniture and art objects. Ambalangoda and Galle Fort are the most famous for antiques and there are several shops selling period furniture and ornaments, Moorish porcelain, brass lamps, pottery and jewellery.
In Galle we visited the famous Olanda showroom and warehouse, a real treasure trove filled with antiques, collectables and exquisite period furniture, reproduced and handcrafted at their own workshop from reclaimed antique wood.
The current owners Ziham and his wife Sabreena refurbished Olanda (the old Hayleys building in Galle Fort) in 1999 and turned it in to one of the largest furniture stores in Sri Lanka. Today, Olanda has its own furniture factory employing 20 skilled craftsmen.
They also sell original antiques and 1936 Austin and 1945 Morris Minor motor vehicles which are casually parked outside. A truly amazing place. A must-see even if you don’t buy anything!
Walking along the walled fort area you come across other interesting shops and people selling souvenirs and jewellery. The town is a spellbinding mixture of Dutch, British and Sri Lankan history and architecture.