Tucked away along the west coast of the island paradise known as Sri Lanka, you will find an enchanting locale by the sea known as Negombo. This coastal town is conveniently located near the international airport in Katunayake and is a popular choice for tourists looking to not only experience the country’s picturesque shores, but also soak up some local culture as well. During colonial times the town came under the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the British. The legacy left behind by these colonial powers can be still seen today and one such example is what remains of the Dutch Fort.
The beginnings of the Dutch Fort date back to 1600 when on its very site stood a fort constructed by the Portuguese. This structure was greatly destroyed by the Dutch when they laid siege to the area and took over. The new fort which was built over its ruins has a pentagonal design with only four of the proposed five bulwarks being built.
Originally the fort was built on a land mass that lay in between an inlet of the sea and a lagoon. The design featured moats, while there was a drawbridge that provided access inside. There was a bell tower here and during the time of its construction there was also a church in the vicinity.
Subsequently the fort’s walls were made higher and new watch towers were added which were done in order to offer more security and to help ward of invading forces. However, the fort came under attack by the British who took over from the Dutch as the country’s colonial rulers. They destroyed the structure and its stones were used to build the Negombo prison.
Today what remains of this once great site is only a section of the eastern wall and a gate that will lead you through a tunnel and on to a courtyard. The old clock tower that can be seen here was not part of the original fort but was rather added during the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. End your tour by visiting the nearby fish market on the beach where you can get a chance to witness the lifestyle of local fisher folk.
Those visiting Sri Lanka’s west coast and in search of a hotel in Negombo from which to set off on their torus of the region can stay at Club Hotel Dolphin. This Negombo hotel enjoys a seaside location that lets you soak up the sun and enjoy the sand and surf too.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.