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Matara Star Fort

matara, Matara, South Coast, Sri Lanka.
Location : Matara
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Overview
The southern town of Matara is famous for two forts, the main Matara Fort and the Star Fort. The better preserved of the two is the smaller Star Fort located on the north bank of the Nilwala River, by the Matara Hospital. The main fort was initiated by the Portuguese around 1550, but the Dutch who captured Matara from them in 1640, were responsible for the construction of the actual fort.
The Star Fort, located about 350 metres from the main rampart gate, is remarkably well preserved. It was built by the Dutch between 1763 and 1765 under the instructions of Governor Redout Van Eck. It has been named as such due to its unusual and unique star shape.
The vulnerability of the Matara Fort was noted by the then Governor Rumpf as early as 1717. The Star Fort was built to compensate for the weaknesses of the main fort and provided additional security to the former. The date of construction (1765) is embossed over the decorated main gate built as an arch, along with the VOC emblem and the coat of arms of Governor Van Eck, flanked by two lions. It is now a protected monument cared for by the Archaeology Department.

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