iSurprise YWCA

Here was the first bank of Galle: The Oriental Bank

Oriental Bank

Here was the first bank of Galle: The Oriental Bank. Originally part of the Governor’s House it was transformed into a bank by the British. To give it the stature of a bank, they added a second storey, some additional courtyards and arched veranda. Oriental Bank later changed into Chartered Mercantile Bank and later Commercial Bank, but the building was always a place of money. The original safe that is still in the building is a testimony to its heritage.

The YWCA was born in the UK during the industrial revolution when young women left the rural villages to work in the city factories


At the end of the British period the Young Women Christian Association moved in, and it became a place for dance evenings, social gatherings and training courses for women and girls in anything from flower arrangement to home cooking. The YMCA is still there today - their Christmas fair is a popular event – and they also provide space for some craft shops and the Fort kindergarten

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