Basking on the southern coast of Sri Lanka in the bay of Galle, the Fort was first built by the Portuguese in 1588 before being extensively fortified by the Dutch in the mid 1600s. Recognized by UNESCO for its cultural heritage value, the Fort was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988 as a unique exposition of “an urban ensemble which illustrates the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries.” For more history.
Whether on a guided walk or strolling along the narrow streets, today you will see clear and well maintained evidence of the Dutch influence. Although these days there are some notable differences to 400 years ago.
Today a Museum occupies the stables; jewellery shops abound; cafes emerge from behind restored columns; interior design shops mingle with book stores and fashion outlets; and to cap it all the Dutch Governor’s residence is now the luxurious Amangalla Hotel.
Galle is the cultural capital of the southern coast of this magical island and along with the seven other UNESCO sites in Sri Lanka, Galle Fort is a must see for everyone.