Given that Sri Lanka is a tropical island rich in certain resources and having a history that dates back thousands of years, there is a lot of history to explore where the nation is concerned. The beautiful coastal town of Galle is still a prominent attraction, but in her past she was the most significant trade hub in the country. Legend even has it that Galle was the mythical land of Tarshish, from which the biblical King Solomon gathered peacocks, ivory and various other luxury items. Although Galle is no longer the most prominent port of the country, it is still a bustling tourist destination, where you can find many boutique hotels in Sri Lanka from entities such as Mosvold Hotels.
The Maritime Museum situated in Galle provides one of the most comprehensive, as well as fascinating, journeys through the history of Sri Lanka, with a strong emphasis on her seafaring antiquity. Although the museum was heavily damaged due to the tsunami that took place in 2004, thanks to a grant from Netherlands, the National Maritime Museum has since returned, with many added facilities.
At the start you will discover many life-size dioramas depicting the lifestyle of ancient civilisations that existed in Sri Lanka as well as scenes from more recent history. These dioramas are known for their life-like appearances.
Although many of the museum’s priceless artefacts were lost to the tsunami, along with the entire UNESCO Archaeological Marine Unit, still to be seen and experienced at the museum. There are many items still intact, such as ceramics collected from Chinese vessels, to models of various ships ranging from traditional fishing boats to naval vessels.
Perhaps the best experiences the museum has to offer are the captivating presentations that take place in its hall that explain the maritime history of Sri Lanka, the stories of various shipwrecks around the island, as well as educating people on the causes of ocean pollution and how to combat these things. A visit to this place is essential.