The city of Galle is the epitome of the fortified Portuguese city and is hailed as the largest remaining fortress in Asia that was built by colonisers. Many attractions can be found peppered across the city, such as its natural harbour and St. Mary’s Cathedral located close to many hotels in Galle the likes of Fortress Resort and Spa.
Galle was the ancient seaport of Tarshish
It is believed that King Solomon imported peacocks, ivory, and other items of value from this city. Cinnamon was exported through the port in Galle from as early as 1400 BC. The word for spices in Hebrew has originated from the name of this city, which hints that Galle may have been the entrepot of spices.
Many seafarers gave Galle various names
At one point, Galle was called the Cape of Birds by Greek and Roman geographers. Ptolemy referred to this port city as Odoka, while the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta called it Qali.
First colonists of Sri Lanka arrived through this port
A small fleet of ships that were commanded by Lourenço de Almeida was blown off the course by a storm on their way to the Maldives. They have stopped at Galle for a short time before heading to visit the king.
The Dutch built the present fort in Galle
The present fort one can see in Galle was built by the Dutch during 1663, featuring three bastions and granite walls.