Galle Fort is a safe place build by Portuguese during their reigns in Sri Lanka. But nowadays it’s one of the major tourist attractions in this country. Situated in southwestern coast Sri Lanka. The shape of the fort is very close to a lot of forts in Sri Lanka. This one is built on a rocky peninsula located on the coast. The whole area is occupied 52 hectares. Portuguese believed that they were invincible in the coastal area. Then they didn’t build any bastille on this area. The sea wall builds in 1789 based on city planning and to show the power of their defence.
After the fort owned by control of the Dutch, they had changed few things here. They considered the old fort as an unsafe place. They rebuild it and increased the strength of the fort against other colonies to take control of the whole peninsula. They have built 14 bastions over 52 hectares by using coral and granite. A lot of walls of the fort are finished in 1663. The city that created in the fort was well planned with a grid layout. You can see the difference between Sri Lankan architect and others.
There are two gates for the fort, the entrance two gates of the fort are called as ‘Portcullised gates’. The first gate built from the port side called ‘ANNO MDCL XIX’.
The main gate is a very brawny one which located from the northern side of the fort. Portuguese had created a moat here, but with the Dutch control, they widen it and made the Star, Moon and Sun bastions through the walls in 1667. This construction belongs to the British period from 1897 to make easy flows of traffic to the old town. To increase strength and safety of the gate they had built a draw bridge that surrounded by a moat. Inscription mention that 1669 was the year of this construction.
If you walk on the fort wall base on clockwise direction, it shows you the old gate where the British Coat of Arms is seen inscribed at the entrance at the top. There is an inscription inside part of the gate with the letters VOC (1668). Fort really looks like a city with small walls, with a rectangular grid pattern of streets and verandas and gables in the Dutch colonial style. There is a well-planned and strength road network. In the fort area, you can see a lot of mosques, churches, government and commercial buildings that have historical values. Some locals come here to walk on the walls. In this area lot of street names also owned by the Dutch.
Galle Fort History
The place that situated Galle fort is sheltered by a rocky peninsula. It was the main port when Ibn Batuta landed here in 1344. Before 2 years Portuguese navigators settled in Colombo they were here in 1505. Firstly they had considered about Colombo. After that in 1588, they decided to move Galle and build three bastions to defend the peninsula on the northern landside.
Few places identified as subsisting from a Franciscan chapel built-in 1543. After the fortified town took under Dutch control in 1640, they decided to replace the precarious Portuguese defences constituted partially of palisades and earth banks.to take control of the sea and to show the power they built stone wall covering the fort.
A lot of curtain walls were built in 1663.18th century, in 1729 they completed a lot of construction and development by finishing a sea wall. 500 families lived here and there were public administrations, trade establishments and warehouses. In this city plan the Commandant’s residence, the arsenal and the powder house were major parts.
English took the power of the Galle Fort one week after the surrender of Colombo on 23 February 1796.
Attractions in Galle
All Saints Church
By 2nd bishop of Colombo started to build this church on 30 October 1868. In 1871 there was a scaffold in this place that belonged to old Court House. It’s a 13-century Gothic-style building. It is one of the most beautiful Anglican Churches in Sri Lanka.
National Maritime archaeology Museum
This is the one and only Maritime Museum in Sri Lanka. In 2010 it reopened as a maritime archaeology museum at Dutch warehouse of the Galle Fort. There are a lot of marine artefacts found by underwater operations and researches. Including naval craft, maps, ropes, earthenware, smoking pipes, beer mugs, barrels and articles. From these items, some were collected from a broken ship under the sea near to southern coast, some are older than 800 years.
The Dutch Reformed Church
This church had been built in 1640 and again it was maintained in between 1752 and 1755. It was created by using gravestones taken from Old Dutch Cemetery.
The Fort Gates
When you visit Galle For you will see this gate between the Sun Bastion and the central Moon Bastion. You can reach the Portuguese Gate by walking through the Baladaksha Mawatha road located the east side of the Sun Bastion. When you enter through this gate, take a look above the arch on the outside of the gate, you will see remains of the British Coat of Arms. From the inside, you can see Dutch East indies Company VOC coat of arms on the gate arch. You can’t see any Portuguese coat of arms here. This gate shows you the way to the Magistrates Court building and the cobbled Court Square.
Galle Fort The Lighthouse
This is an offshore lighthouse situated in Galle. Owned and Maintained by the Sri Lanka Port Authority. This was built in 1848 and destroyed in 1934 by fire. Anyhow Galle Lighthouse is the oldest one in Sri Lanka. This one is a very famous tourist destination in Galle.
Galle Fort Shopping
Shopping in Galle fort brings you a memorable experience. Within a few distances, you can cover a different kind of items in Sri Lanka. This place is a pack of Sri Lankan unique items. Here we list out some showrooms and shops for your convenience.
They provided you with unique clothing, fabrics and crafts. Everything sells under its iconic brand. As the extra items, they offer you some homeware and lifestyle products like Spa Ceylon and Withered Leaves tea.
They have a huge collection of clothes. They offer you different kind of casual clothing for both women and men.
KK The Collection
This is a lovely homeware store owned by the owner of Kahanda Kanda Villa. You can buy a lot of linens, crafts and home accessories from here.
This place is highly recommended for art lovers. They have an unbelievable collection of art galleries. Including acrylic on cotton paintings, hand design plates, trays and lot of colourful items.
They have the most talented craftsmen. They ready to offer you new fashionable furniture items. Lot of them are produced and handcrafted at their workshop in Galle. And also they have a worldwide shipping service.
Pedlar’s Inn Jewellery
If you are looking for unique jewellery in Galle this is the recommended place for you. They have a gallery with beautiful items. You can visit and see this unbelievable creation.
- More shops
- Shoba Display Gallery
- Tea Zone
- Three by TPV
- Orchid House
The Heritage Galle Fort
This is one of the most famous hotels in Galle Fort. It’s situated in the heart of the city of Galle fort. It was as a small shop called “Kotuwe Kade” but with the time it converted into the Castle in the Dutch Fort. That miracle was done by Sri Lankan architect Vidyajothy Ashley De Vos.
They mention some key points, why you should choose them.
- Culturally rich area for true explorers to explore.
- Offering a uniquely authentic experience for the best rate.
- Many more fun-loving activities around the Galle city
- Delivering 100% flexible and personalized service
- Passionate individuals with years of industry experience are ready to assist.
The Fort Bazaar
This is a merchant’s home that transformed as a boutique hotel that has 18 superb guestrooms. Inside the area of the hotel decorated by using trees and some small plants. That helps to bring you good relaxation from the mind. It’s very close to Galle Fort. Day by day they have a different kind of offers for you, so be hurried and book your room.
The Bartizan Galle Fort
It’s one of a colonial boutique hotel that you can see in Galle Fort. You can have sea view rooms from here. The uniqueness of this building is it belonged to old Dutch architecture. They have provided you lot of facilities here such as free WIFI, Free early check-in, Serene courtyard, Sea view rooftop terrace, Walk to restaurants and shopping, walk to the historical site, Beach access. And also for your convenience, they maintain their site with the feature of online booking.
Mango House is another beautiful hotel that you can find close to Galle Fort. They have their own decorations in the hotel. Sometimes it looks like an old chateau, but for the decorations, they have used trees and plants as an eco-friendly way. Another special thing is about their services. They have provided you lot of services such as Reception & Concierge, Luggage storage, Central Safe at the reception, Safes in rooms, Café, Room services, Airport transfer, Daily housekeeping, Baby cot & baby chair, coffee and tea making facility in rooms and more. If you wish to accommodate here and want to know more detail follow their website.
Albert Fort Boutique Hotel
This one also a colonial manor house in previous time. To continuously keep the design and colonial charm of this, it was maintained after the opened as a hotel. Its only 10-minute walk from Galle Fort and Lighthouse. This place is highly recommended for the rest and relaxation of your mind. If we talk about facilities they have high-quality rooms, Air condition, Fan, Tea & Coffee making facility, Double bed, Hot/Coldwater and more. If you want to know furthermore please check their site.
The Ivy by Frangipani
This place is a combination of European architecture and South Asian culture. It brings you experience to a different level. Special their provided Sri Lankan foods cooked by using Sri Lankan own ingredients. You can have a nice evening with a lovely dinner with an open area. It located in central of Pedlar’s street.
Now you know that Galle is a destination that you should add to your collection to visit. We mentioned here all the details that important to you. Now it is in your hand to travel. If you visit Sri Lanka you should see this. These local people always ready to welcome you. Come as a guest and leave as a friend.