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The first Portuguese visiting Ceylon was Dom Loureno de Almeida in 1505 or 1506 Accidentally after a storm adverse winds drove him to the islands coast near Galle In the last months of the years 1505 or 1506 Dom Lourenos fleet anchored off Colombo A memorial of this first landing was erected on a boulder overlooking the Bay of ColomboThe Portuguese called it a Padrao and a cross above the Royal Arms of Portugal surmounted it This landmark was still seen in 1920 now bearing the inexplicable date of 1501This first expedition admittedly built a wooden chapel and an agency in ColomboThese structures were abandoned a few years laterA treaty was concluded with the King of Ceylon than residing in the city of Kotte about two hours by foot from Colombo The Island was divided in four Kingdoms Kotte the most important Sitawaka Kandy in the mountains and Jaffna in the North In 1518 the Viceroy Lopo Soares de Albergaria landed at Colombo with a large fleet Here the Portuguese began to build a small fort named Nossa Senhora das Virtudes or Santa Barbara This first fort was a triangular in shape surmounted by a central tower Sinhalese soon besieged the fort and around 1524 the Portuguese dismantle it The Portuguese kept an Agent in the Island under the protection of the Sinhalese King at KotteGiving up of Colombo was a mistake The colony of Muslims merchants immediately attempted to win back their supremacy in the Kingdon of Kotte and to re-conquer the cinnamon trade However they were to be defeated by the few Portuguese still presents in the Island The Mappillas Malabar Muslims that up to 1539 nourished a dynastic conflict in the Kingdoms of Sitavaka and Kotte opposed the Portuguese presence in Ceylon
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