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Galle Fort

Galle, South Coast, Sri Lanka.
Location : Galle
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Overview

 Ceylon was colonized by three European nations, Portuguese, Dutch and finally the British. The Galle fort which located facing the Indian Ocean in the town of Galle, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, was a vital administrative and trade center for all those colonizers. The fort still could be seen in its original state unlike most of the historical monuments that had been rebuilt after their destruction. UNESCO had declared the Galle fort as its 451st world heritage site in 1988.

In 1505, Portuguese explorers led by Lourenco de Almeida arrived in Sri Lanka and established their command in the coastal region as a result of the treaty that they made with the Sinhalese king. Galle was one of King’s defensive barriers and Portuguese had not paid much attention for that until they had to confront a battle with the King Rajasinghe 1 in 1588. It is recorded that they acquired the essential goods from the southern cities of Sri Lanka. In 1595 Lourenco de Almeida had built up fort using clay and stones. It was the second colonial fort, built in Ceylon. In 1640, Dutch attacked the fort and got hold of it. The fort was modified by Dutch with labour of the African slaves as well as the Sinhalese. It was then Dutch’s major trade center and thus it is still known as Dutch Fort. Dutch architectural influence shades on the constructions in Galle fort. In 1796, English began to rule the coastal areas and the fort too moved into their hand.
The fort covers an area of about 90 acres, 700 meters from north to south and 400 meters from east to west. The height of the rampart ranges from 50 to 70 feet and there are 14 watch towers around the fort. Some of them are built on rocks beside the sea. They were named as Sun, Moon, Star, Eros, Cliponburge, Neptune, Titan, Utrent, Aurora, Aaksloot, Kalukotuwa, Swart, Commandment and Shipmart. There are two huge arches to enter the fort and they were considered as main entrances of fort. Dutch churches and their houses are the prominent constructions that have an architectural value in the fort. Gigantic timbers were used for these Dutch constructions. In fact the fort is a walled city and there are many Moor families who live here along with Sinhalese, Dutch, English, Portuguese and Germans.
There is a museum inside the Dutch fort which is in a Dutch Colonial building in Church Street, and more details regarding the history of the fort can be found at this place as well as at the visitors centre. The artifacts reflect the art and culture of the Southern Province. The National Maritime Museum is also situated inside the Galle fort.
The Galle fort symbolizes one of the landmarks in politics as well as the culture in Ceylonese history.              
 
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"Beautiful Galle fort"

Reviewed on May 02, 2013

by Danushka Dananjaya

It is a very beautiful and attractive place located in southern. Galle fort attract every person who come to that place.