The town of Galle encompasses a beautiful assortment of Dutch-colonial buildings, teeming with the scent of exotic spices and sea salt. Thousands of travellers pass through the town every year, in search of a true southern Sri Lankan experience of sun, sand and suf. However, a trip to Galle is incomplete without a visit to the historic Dutch Fort. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Dutch Fort or Galle Fort as its otherwise known, is crammed full of beautiful colonial architecture, vibrant shops and cafes, and some of the finest panoramic views of the Indian Ocean in Galle.
Several of the best boutique hotels in Galle are located close by to the fort, such as the Tamarind Hill Galle, so spending a full day exploring along the wide cobble stone streets and taking in the charm of this monument, before heading back to the comforts of your hotel, is the best way to experience the Galle Fort. First built by the Portuguese in 1588, with walls and a bastion made of earth, it was later heavily fortified by the Dutch, who constructed impenetrable thick walls, ramparts and bastions of coral and granite, as defence against other colonial organizations in the south Asian region.
The main part of its attraction is that the fort is a living heritage site, and thus contains administrative offices such as the court houses and several companies, as well as a small community of local and foreign residents. Several members of the Muslim community that live within, can trace their heritage back to the Arab traders who came to Galle in search of gems and spices. Some of the significant historical landmarks to view are the Dutch Reformed Church, the National Maritime Museum, Meera Mosque, the clock tower, the lighthouse and the All Saints Anglican Church.
Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting. Google+