Colombo National Museum is the largest and the National museum of Sri Lanka. Colombo National Museum is the building which exhibits the historical, artistic and cultural importance of the Island many years before. This museum is situated in Cinnamon gardens (Colombo 7), which is nearly 3km from the centre of Colombo city in the southeast direction.According to the history of the museum, the founder was Sir. William Henry Gregory, the governor of Ceylon during 1870’s. The National museum was opened to the public use in 1877 (1877 January 1st). The architectural design of the museum reflects the Italian architectural style and it was designed by Mr. James G. Smither, government architect at that time. Museum was opened with nearly 800 – 1200 specimen to exhibit. With the development made on 1940’s, the museum became more popular. Branches were opened in Jaffna, Kandy and Ratnapura districts and a fully developed Department of National museums establishment were the main steps for the popularity.
Now, there are Colombo National Museum, Natural History Museum, Dutch Period Museum at Colombo Fort, Kandy National Museum, Galle National Museum, Ratnapura National Museum, Anuradhapura Folk Museum, Independence Memorial Museum at Torrington Square and Galle Maritime Museum are available as branches for the Department of National museums.
Colombo National Museum consist three main sections and they divided further. Given below describes the division in simple.
Natural science section consists of many insect specimens related to Sri Lanka and around the world, large collection of faunal specimens, pre – historic minerals and fossils and collection of dried plants from the forests of Sri Lanka. The cultural section consists of cultural specimens such as coins, stones with antique, pottery antique, brass ware, furniture, materials and textiles and also musical instruments, household objects, equipments, banners, traditional rituals. Other divisions such as Education and Publication Division, Conservation Division, Exhibition Planning Division, Information Technology Division, Administration Division, Finance Division and Photography are available to easy access of the museum. From these the tourists can get guide and help from relevant service from their divisions.The Colombo National Museum is the best attraction spot in Colombo to learn the past era of Sri Lanka very well.