Amongst the busy commercial trade zone of the Colombo Fort region in Sri Lanka are some of the oldest structures of the city. The Old Dutch Hospital with its tropical colonial-era architecture is one of them. The old structure; with its boxy pillars, red clay roof tiles and large central courtyards; was built in the late 17th century by the Dutch. They were influenced by the tropical requirements and the local building style in Ceylon at the time, as is evidenced by the design; which is quite different from European structures of the era. While the building may seem comparatively dull overall; it’s important to feel the echoes of its history while visiting.