Attractions

A DESTINATION OF RELAXATION UNAWATUNA SRI LANKA

Galle Fort

History




The pride of a nation and the country in the eyes of the world is enhanced by its civilization, its culture and its natural beauties. Endowed with these qualifications with a 2500 year old history supported by ancient archaeological treasures, Sri Lanka is rated as a bio diversity hot-spot of the world.

The historical importance of the Galle Fort is unchallenged. The origins of Galle though lost in antiquity still survive through artifacts which confirm its existence in pre Christian and Roman eras. Through medieval ages, the Galle Fort emerged as Ceylon's major southern international port attracting Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Persian, Roman and Arab traders.

The Galle Dutch Fort is a rare historical jewel protected by dark, thick stone walls – with the endless ocean on one side. The roads inside the Galle Fort have hardly changed, like the squares on a chess board crisscrossing in regular patches. Straight and narrow lanes branch in and out inviting the visitor to a delightful walk into the 17th century.

Today's Peddler Street was called "Moorse Kramerstraat" by the Dutch, Lighthouse Street was "Zeeburgstraat and Middelpuntstraat", Hospital Street as `Nieuwe Lijnbaanstraat and Lijnbaanstraat (New Ropewalk Street), Old Ropewalk Street as Oude Lijnbaanstraat (Old Rope-Walk Street), Church Street as Kerkstraat, Parrawa Street as "Parruasstraat" and Chiando Street as "Chiandostraat". Through this memory walk one would however miss the 17th century familiar vendors who traded in cinnamon, lace, elephants, tortoise and turtle shell ornaments besides the famous down south sweetmeats like "bondi aluwa" hanging in garlands from the shoulders of vendors.

In 1505 a group of Portuguese sailors led by Don Lorenzo de Almeida arrived in the island and they built the first fortification in Galle on a cliff, jutting out into the sea. It was called the Swart Bastion or the Black Fort in 1520. Later it was fortified and enlarged by the Dutch in 1667.

14 bastions has been identified on the fort today.