Built on a small, rocky peninsula in the historical town of Galle, the fort is 52 hectares in area. Originally constructed by the Portuguese, the fort came under Dutch rule in the late 16th century. Inscribed on the Main Gate of the fort is the Dutch Coat of Arms, its emblem of the cock and the letters VOC. The walls of the fort also comprises of many great bastions built by the Portuguese. The Old Gate of the fort carries the British Coat of Arms. The iconic lighthouse of the fort was built under the British colony that also closed the old moat. Amongst the other landmark buildings that were constructed by the Dutch and British colonies are the Dutch Reformed Church, the old Dutch government house, the National Maritime Museum and the All Saints Anglican Church.
The residences of the Galle fort are built in typical Dutch-style, with beautiful courtyards and verandas in each house. Today, it remains a place of residence for many Dutch Burghers and Moor Muslims who have lived in the fort for many generations and built their livelihoods within the fort. The Galle fort is also home to some of the most beautiful boutique hotels and vacation homes of the wealthy and influential. Chic restaurants that serve everything from traditional Sri Lankan food to authentic Dutch Burgher ‘Lamprais’ to a variety of Muslim biriyani dishes also line the narrow, historic streets of the fort.
To witness and explore a true blend of European architecture, South Asian traditions and Muslim lifestyles, a visit to the Galle fort is a must. There are many stunning Galle resorts in and around the fort. The luxurious Jetwing Kurulubedda is one that provides guests with exquisite accommodation spaces and great facilities. It is among the finest Sri Lanka hotels and is an ideal option for tourists.