Negombo is one of the cities in Sri Lanka where many ornate ancient Roman Catholic churches can be found. Most of them link to the Portuguese era of the country. Researchers who need to find historical roots of the Portuguese era of Sri Lanka do not forget to visit the Negombo City. Some of the well-famous churches in Negombo are St. Mary’s church, Grand Street Church and Katuwapitiya Church. The remarkable ceiling paintings of these churches held grand historical value.
A Parish Priest called John Lio Ratnayaka has erected Thalahena Church or Barbara Church in Negombo in 1889. It is said that the church was built with Rs. 290 in hand with the grand volunteered support from all the villagers. The Thalahena church is situated in the center of Baisyawatta, North Dungalpitiya, in the East Negombo. The church was built after a lady called Barabara who was killed due to her faith in Catholism.
Later, she was raised to sainthood and people from all directions came to Talahena church to worship her and get cured of illnesses. Portuguese has brought a Saint Fatima’s statue to the Talahena Village and later it was brought to the church. People have seen the appearances of Saint Fatima at the nearby well. It is considered that the water of the well has miraculous powers to cure illnesses. The address of the Saint Barbara Church is Mission House, Pamunugma, Negombo Road., Thalahena, Negombo, and its Tel number is 0312220323.
In the Minuwangoda Negombo Road towards the South East Negombo, visitors can find another well famous Catholic church called Bolawalana St. Mary’s Church. The village where the church is situated is called Andiambalama. The Portuguese built it in 1557 to attract Buddhist pilgrimages to their faith that visited to the forest to worship a shrine called Walana shrine. People called the church Paththini Deawalaya as well although it was dedicated to Saint Mary. The Gothic style architecture of the church is remarkable for its splendor and beauty. The Tel Number is 0313611626
There are many other important churches in Negombo. In fact the Negombo City is called little Rome due to its high number of churches.
- St Peter's Church Aluthkuruwa Basiyawatta, Negombo, Tel No. 0313717125;
- Saint Philip Neri Church, Thammita Negombo, Tel No. 0312227533; St Sebastian Church, Sea Street, Negombo, Tel No. 0312224233;
- St. Stephen's Church, 05, Mudliyars Rd., Negombo, Tel No. 0312233331;
- And lvary Worship Church, 80-C, Premachandra Watta, Divulapitiya Rd., Negombo, Tel No. 0312220753 are but only a few of them.