Colombo has been a major trading port from time immemorial. As far back as the 5th century, Colombo served as a sea port for trade between Asia and the West. During the 8th century, Arab traders settled near the port and madein their trading hub. In the early 16th Century (1505 AD), the first colonial masters - Portuguese arrived. By the mid-17th century the Dutch had taken over, growing cinnamon in the area now known as Cinnamon Gardens, but it wasn’t until the British arrived that the town became a city. In 1815 Colombo was proclaimed the capital of Ceylon.
During the 1870s the breakwaters were built and Fort was created by flooding surrounding wetlands. Colombo was peacefully handed over when Sri Lanka achieved independence in 1948. A new parliament was built in Sri Jayawardenepura-Kotte, an outer suburb of Colombo, in 1982.
From the early 1980s Colombo and the rest of the nations experienced a gradual decline due to the ethnic conflict and more so the war between the Sri Lanka Government and the Isolated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who carried out deadly bomb attacks such as in Fort during the 1990s which caused Colombo’s major businesses and institutions to disperse across the city. These days Colombo is again developing in leaps and bounds stretching the city skyline heavenwards with giant skyscrapers emerging everywhere in the city.