The Galle Fort is a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by Europeans when they had a hold of Sri Lanka. It was built by Portuguese but was later fortified and conquered by the Dutch which was later captured by the British. It is 432 years old but yet maintains a polished appearance up to date.
Galle Fort in Galle District of Southern Province was founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese and then further developed by the Dutch and the British over the next 350 years. It covers nearly 4sqkm of space and is protected by 12 bastions and connecting ramparts. In the early 18th century, the Old Dutch Gate was the entrance to the Fort, but later in the years, the British built the Main Gate which is still at use up to today.
Galle reached the peak of its development in the 18th century which was before the arrival of the British. It is one of the best examples of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia. It displays the interaction between European architectural styles and South Asian traditions back in the past.
You should go on Katunayake-Colombo Expressway and join the Southern Expressway and exit from the Pinnaduwa Exit. Then take the Southern Expressway Access Road and Colombo – Galle – Hambantota – Wellawaya Road to Church Street in Galle to reach your destination.
You have to take Samagiwattha Gama Road to Dangedara Road. Turn left onto Dangedara Road and turn right onto Colombo – Galle – Hambantota – Wellawaya Road. Turn right onto Queens Street and turn left onto Church Street to reach your destination.
Galle Fort is now comprised of a maze of narrow roads lined with small houses, restaurants, shops, villas, and boutique hotels which makes it an enchanting place to explore. The thick, high ramparts that protect and distinguish the Fort are used today for romantic evening strolls and early morning power-walks. It even offers wonderful views of the Indian Ocean. Wander through the quaint streets and explore the various art galleries, shops, and eateries, or go on a walking tour to discover more about the history of the fort and its vibrant, present-day multi-cultural society.
Buildings of interest include the Dutch Reformed Church, All Saints Church, the lighthouse, and the bell tower. The Dutch also developed an innovative tide-based sewage-system within the Fort.
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