Wolvendaal Church

The Dutch Reformed Church, Wolvendal, was built by the Dutch East India Company in 1749,and is one of the oldest functioning Protestant churches in Sri Lanka . It took eight years to construct ( the walls are more than 1.5 m thick ). The church that can accommodate 1000 people was dedicated 6 March , 1757.

The name Wolvendal was derived by the Dutch from ‘ Agoa deloupe ‘ , the Portuguese name for the area which means ‘ the Dale of Wolves ‘ The Portuguese confused the jackals that once roamed Kotahena scavenging for food , with wolves .

The orginal building remains intact as well as the original furniture and lamps ( now powered by electricity, rather than gas ). The enormous locks on the huge doors are also from the church’s early days . The simple form of this church does not feature any altar or elaborate stained glass. Toms of Dutch governors of Ceylon line the floor ,with other Dutch settlers ‘ tombstones featured in the garden .

An impressive hand –pumped pipe organ is played at Christmas and special services. The bamboo pipes were installed during the Dutch period, and it was upgraded during the Dutch period, and it was upgrated during the British period; it is now activated with an electric motor .