Extent of Portuguese rule in Ceylon
|King of Portugal|
|Jerónimo de Azevedo|
|António de Amaral de Meneses|
o Portuguese arrival
o Death of Dharmapala of Kotte
|27 May 1597|
o Surrender of Jaffna
|Today part of||Sri Lanka|
Portuguese Ceylon (Portuguese: Ceilão Português, Sinhala? Puruthugisi Lankawa, Tamil Porthukeya Ilankai) was the control of the Kingdom of Kotte by the Portuguese Empire, in present-day Sri Lanka, after the country's Crisis of the Sixteenth Century and into the Kandyan period.
The Portuguese presence in the island lasted from 1505 to 1658. Their arrival was largely accidental, as they sought control of commerce, rather than territory. Their appearance coincided with the political upheaval of the Wijayaba Kollaya, and they were drawn into the internal politics of the island as they sought to establish control over the lucrative cinnamon trade that originated there. The Portuguese used these internal divisions to their advantage during the Sinhalese-Portuguese War. Direct Portuguese rule inside the island did not begin until after the death of Dharmapala of Kotte, who died without an heir. He bequeathed the Kingdom of Kotte to the Portuguese monarch in 1580. That allowed the Portuguese sufficient claim to the Kingdom of Kotte upon Dharmapala's death in 1597. Portuguese rule began with much resistance by the local population.
Eventually, the Kingdom of Kandy sought help from the Dutch Empire in their efforts to rid the island of the Portuguese. The Dutch Empire initially entered into agreement with the Kingdom of Kandy. After the collapse of the Iberian economy in 1627, the Dutch-Portuguese War saw the Dutch conquest of most of Portugal's Asian colonies. Eventually, Portugal's Ceylonese territories were ceded to the Netherlands. Nevertheless, elements of Portuguese culture from this colonial period remain in Sri Lanka.
Part of a series on the
|History of Kandy|
|Kingdom of Kandy (1469–1815)|
|Colonial Kandy (1815–1948)|
|Sri Lanka portal|
The first contact between Sri Lanka and the Portuguese happened in 1505-6. It was largely accidental and it wasn't until 12 years later that the Portuguese sought to establish a fortified trading settlement.
Direct Portuguese rule began after the death of Dharmapala of Kotte who bequeathed the Kingdom of Kotte to the Portuguese monarch. By 1600 the Portuguese had consolidated the main centers of rebellion, the Kelani and Kalu ganga basins, leaving the border regions to Sinhalese resistance.
In the two decades after the establishment of Portuguese rule there were four major revolts: