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Galle Fort Sri Lanka
Written by Duvvuru Anvesh on May 30, 2021 Share on

Galle Dutch Fort Sri Lanka – A Popular Dutch Colonial Fort

The Galle Dutch Fort is one of the most treasured historical monuments in Sri Lanka, situated along the southwest coast. The fort was built by the Portuguese during their reign in Sri Lanka. The Dutch, later, took over the Galle Fort and renovated it. It was later by the British. This fort is one of the most important UNESCO world heritage sites amongst the many others in Sri Lanka. The beautiful mix between European Architecture and the South Asian Traditions of the 16th to 19th century is something you can’t miss. The Galle town covers an area of about 52 acres within the fortifications. (These fortifications withstood the 2004 tsunami!) The Galle Fort has so much offer, from its ruins and buildings to hotels and little shops. No matter what you are looking for, Galle Fort is the place you are looking for.


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What’s special about Galle Dutch Fort?

The Galle Fort has seen and adapted to many communities and ethnicities. It had held onto bits and pieces of all of them despite the location’s changes throughout the centuries. Even today, you can see how much glory and history it holds. It heralds praise from around the world for being a fortified city that fuses European architecture with south Asian traditions. It had so much culture to offer, down right to the names of the street. The Galle town itself has so many elements that portray the culture. The Dutch Reformed Church, Meera Mosque, the Buddhist Temple, the clock tower, the lighthouse, the list goes on and on. The rectangular grid of streets with houses and terraces in Dutch Colonial style places your mind in the 18th century.

Also Read: 5 Best Places to visit in Galle Sri Lanka in 2021

Galle Fort Sri Lanka
Image Source – Pixabay

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History of Galle Dutch Fort

Under the leadership of Lorenzo de Almeida, the Portuguese reached Ceylon in 1505. Initially, they constructed a temporary fort in Galle. Later, the Dutch conquered Sri Lanka from the Portuguese in 1640 and took control of the Galle Fort. It was reconstructed with further expansions and fortifications. Soon, Galle Fort became the administrative center. In 1796, the Dutch handed over the Galle Fort to the English. The English started to use Colombo as their base. This meant that they paid little attention to Galle Fort. This was probably one of the reasons why Galle Fort is still able to remain with all its historical glory. It is pretty evident by now how culturally rich Galle is.

Geography of Galle Dutch Fort

Galle Fort, as the name suggests, is built in the town of Galle, Sri Lanka. Galle is situated in the extreme southwest corner of the country along the southwest coast. The fort is built on a rocky peninsular-like region, covering almost an area of 52 acres. Highway A2 provides road transport to Galle from the capital city of Colombo-which is 113 kilometres away. The Galle town has developed in all directions with the fort being the epicentre. All the monuments and the historical buildings are well within access to the public. Each of these monuments are filled with signage depicting the history.

Galle Town
Image Source : Pixabay

Best Time To Visit Galle Dutch Fort

Considering Sri Lanka’s position which is just north of the equator, Sri Lanka is tropical, therefore temperate, all round the year. But, the monsoons might pose an issue because of the two separate monsoon seasons during the year. The southeast experiences monsoon from April to September, and the northeast from November until March. You could try heading to Galle between December and March for having the best chances to catch some sun.

How to Reach Galle Dutch Fort

Galle fort is about 15 kilometres from the Galle airport. It takes somewhere about half an hour to reach the fort after landing. If you are on a budget and have time to spare, you could take a train too. The railways connect all the important points within the country. The nearest railway station is the Galle railway Station which is a 3 mins ride to the fort. You can either book a cab or ride a tuk-tuk(our preference) to help you move around the town.

Galle Lighthouse
Image Source: Unsplash

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Entrance Fee for Galle Dutch Fort

There’s no entrance fee to the fort as such. It is open 24 hours on all days, free to visit by anyone. You could still spend money in the shopping markets and authentic restaurants in the vicinity.

Galle Town
Image Source: Unsplash

What else can you do/see at Galle Fort?

Galle Fort is not the only sight to see in the Galle region. You can

  • visit the National Maritime Museum or the National Museum which exhibits the rich history of the region.
  • explore the Dutch Reformed Church or the Historic Mansion if you want to experience Europe style churches. The mansion also has a souvenir shop so that you have something to remember Galle by.
  • walk down to The Galle Lighthouse which is the most scenic and a pretty popular instagrammable location by the sea in Galle
  • visit the Meera Mosque to see the amalgamation of European-style cathedrals and Islamic domes. If you are someone who appreciates aesthetics, this mosque has a lot to offer.
  • wait to experience The Sunrise at Galle Fort and lose yourself in the beauty of it.
  • walk around the Old Dutch Market and buy some sumptuous Rambutans or Wood apples.
  • take in the views of the Jungle Beach on the southern coast (You’ll have to trek and take a boat ride)
  • Dine in one of the many restaurants like Hoppa, Sugar Bistro, The Tuna & The Crab, or A Minute By Tuk Tuk.

Also Read: The Do’s and Don’ts guide for your Srilanka vacation

Galle Fort Sri Lanka
Image Source: Unsplash

What’s holding you back? Pack your suitcases and fly to Sri Lanka to experience all the amazing elements it has to offer. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed thinking of all the places to cover, you can check out our exclusive Sri Lanka Travel Packages. Alternatively, reach out to us on our website, We’ll be more than happy to help you curate an itinerary based on your requirements. Until then, Happy Exploring. 🙂

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