14 National Parks
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top historical sites

Sigiriya is a unique witness to the civilization of Ceylon during the years of the reign of Kassapa I. The site of the 'Lion Mountain' was visited from the 6th century AD, by passionate admirers.

The frescoes of Sigiriya inaugurated a pictorial style which endured over many centuries.

Polonnaruwa bears witness to several civilizations, notably that of the conquering Cholas, disciples of Brahminism, and that of the Sinhalese sovereigns during the 12th and 13th centuries. This immense capital created by the megalomaniac sovereign, King Parakramabahu (I), in the 12th century, is one of history's most astonishing urban creations.

It is also a shrine of Buddhism and of Sinhalese history.

Anuradhapura attests in a unique and specific way to the Sinhalese civilization. On numerous occasions the city was submitted to the assaults of invaders from southern India - Tamils, Pandyas, Cholas, etc. It stands as a permanent manifesto of the culture of Sri Lanka, impervious to outside influences.

The sacred city exerted a considerable influence on the development of architecture during several centuries.