Sri Lanka's rich cultural heritage is depicted through various museums scattered all over the country.
National Museum, Colombo:
It is the oldest and largest Museum in the country, established in 1877. Housed in a fine colonial-era building, the museum is famous for collection of ancient royal regalia, Sinhalese artwork (carvings, sculptures et al.), antique furniture, china, and Ola manuscripts. The museum contains: more than 4.000 palm leaf manuscripts; ancient and medieval jewelry; rare collection of traditional masks; wood and ivory carvings; temple frescoes; ceramics objects including VOC plates of the Dutch period; stone sculpture and lithic inscriptions. The museum is open daily from 09.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs except on Fridays.
National Museum of Natural History, Colombo:
It is located in the same premises as the National Museum. This museum depicts natural heritage of Sri Lanka. It displays birds, mammals, reptiles, sea-mammals, insects, botanical plants, gems and geological specimens of Sri Lanka. The museum is Open daily from 09.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs.
The Dutch Period Museum, Colombo:
The museum is housed in the old `Dutch House' on Prince Street, Pettah, which was earlier the residence of Count August Carl Van Ranzow. The museum displays Dutch legacy through artifacts such as furniture, ceramics, coins, arms etc. The museum is open daily from 09.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs except on Fridays.
Bandaranaike Museum, Colombo:
The museum contains photographs, objects and documents of former Prime Minister Mr. S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike who was assassinated in 1959.
The National Maritime Museum, Galle:
The museum is housed in an old Dutch building in the historic fort of Galle. It has on display objects connected with marine biology and botany and also some beautiful diagrams showing local fishing methods, natural coral beds, sea grass beds and deep sea fishes. The museum is open daily from 09.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs.
Gems Museum, Ratnapura:
The museum displays its collections of pre historic objects and fossile of Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus and Elephant collected from the gem pits of Ratnapura District. Other exhibits include jewelry, textiles, flags, gems and semi-precious stones. Some of the artifacts displayed here, reflect the unique art & culture of the Sabaragamuwa Province. The museum is open daily from 09.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs except on Fridays.