Independence Square is in the prestigious Cinnamon Gardens district of Colombo where spacious tree-lined boulevards remain from colonial days and takes its name from the Independence Memorial Hall built there to commemorate the independence of Sri Lanka from British rule in 1948. The hall is an open-sided rectangle with ornately moulded cement columns and a tiled, hipped roof with statues of seated lions surrounding it, used for ceremonial occasions. In its basement is the Independence Memorial Museum.
Independence Square is a popular stopping place on a city tour so visitors can walk around the structure or relax in the shade of the avenue of mango trees. Close to the Square is the Arcade, a modern shopping mall housed in former colonial government buildings brightened with a fountain, covered ponds, and more statues of lions.