In 1505, the great Portuguese explorer Lourenço de Almeida and his fleet were blown by fateful, adverse winds into a land that had not yet been discovered by modern Europe, Sri Lanka- the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’. Decades later from this historic event, these first European colonists built a fort in the southern coast of the island that in 1649 the Dutch invaded and extensively fortified. This splendor of colonial architecture was called the Galle Fort or the Dutch Fort.
The Galle Fort is situated 173km from Colombo, and travelers searching for Sri Lanka boutique hotels in close proximity to the site should consider Saman Villas Bentota as it is situated just approximately 58 minutes away via the Southern Expressway.
Begin your journey to the Fort from the original entrance gate that is situated on the northeast side of peninsula. In the inner part of the gate you will find the 1668 dated inscription of the letters VOC, an abbreviation of Verenigde Oostindindische Compagnie, meaning Dutch East India Company with the insignia of a cock flanked by two lions.
What lies inside will amaze you….Spread over the 36 hectare peninsula are magnificent colonial buildings which depicts the glory of bygone days. Along the fort walls are bastions such the Zwart (Black) Bastion and the Flag Rock Bastion-which was used as a signaling station to warn entering ships of the dangerous rocks of the bay. Elegant colonial villas flank either side of the quaint narrow streets. You can discover many curiosities at the several museums and antique shops of the fort. Visit the Dutch Reformed Church that contains ornately carved memorials including a historic belfry dating back to 1707 that rings every hour.
The great Galle Fort is a portrayal of the strength and grandeur of the colonial era of Sri Lanka. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the Galle Fort is described by UNESCO as “an urban ensemble which illustrates the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries”.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travelers.