Nestled in the arms of the historic Galle Fort, lies the “De Groote Kerk” or the Dutch Reformed Church, Sri Lanka’s oldest Protestant Parish.
The church stands inside Sri Lanka’s only living fort in Galle, which can be easily reached by the coastal railway line, southern expressway or the A2 highway. Many a car rental Sri Lanka has to offer including the likes of Casons Rent a Car provides affordable transport services. Once there, a quick walk through the cobbled streets will lead you to the ancient building.
Initially built upon the site of a Portuguese convent, the existing church was completed in the year 1755. The church houses the remains of eminent Dutch officials, moved there in 1853 as per the custom of that time. Elaborately carved gravestones pave the floor while various coat of arms decorate the walls.
The Dutch Reformed Church has been designed in the Doric period style and bears a resemblance to the Wolvendaal Church in Colombo. A unique double scroll moulding, grand timber doors, and beautiful stained glass windows along with high vaulted ceiling instil the church with an air of quiet grandness.
Things to See
The well-maintained church contains an intricately carved wooden memorial dedicated to the former Dutch commander, an organ in a gallery above the entrance and a grand looking pulpit with a hexagonal canopy fashioned out of calamander wood.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+