The southern coastal belt draws travellers every year to its pristine beaches, stunning locations and with some of the best luxury villas in Sri Lanka, like the luxuriously, chic Pebbles Beach Villa, for example. The historic Galle Fort is one of those locations that continue to remain ever popular with both foreign travellers and locals alike. There’s so much to see and do at the Galle Fort that many tend to skip what many incorrectly assume to be the boring museums and historical sites. However, the stories that lie within the imposing walls of the fort are truly impressive and should not be missed.
The Maritime Archaeology Museum, located in the Galle Fort, houses an eclectic collection of model boats, artillery and maps from the colonial era and several artifacts that were recovered from shipwrecks, with some artifacts, more than a century old.
Opened in 1992, the museum is situated in the 1671 Dutch warehouse above the old gate of the Fort. The main warehouse endured the impact of the 2004 Tsunami, but the adjacent UNESCO Maritime Archaeology Unit was destroyed, with several exhibits suffered flood damage, while most of the maritime archaeological artifacts were lost. Subsequently, after a 3 year reconstruction period, the Maritime Museum was re-opened to the public.
The displays showcase several pieces of ceramics, earthen ware, pipes, barrels, and plenty of artillery and oddly enough, sailor’s shoes. All of which were retrieved from shipwrecks located off the coast, with some pieces said to be over 800 years old. There are several interesting items; from paintings depicting the arrival of Indian princes, to relics from other countries which include a standing Buddha statue from Indonesia. In addition, there are some rather lifelike depictions of Sri Lankan’s from different time periods. Whether you are a history buff, or just passing by, do head over to the museum and catch a glimpse of what life was like for travellers centuries ago.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.