- Location: Galle, Southern Province, Sri Lanka
- Reason to visit: World Heritage site, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Siri Lanka.
- Our ratings: ★★★★★
- Entrance fee: free
- Opening hours: All the day (Jan 01-Dec31, from Monday-Sunday)
- Recommended tour for you: 9 Days Amazing Sri Lanka Budget Tour
The Galle Fort is located in the southwest corner of Sri Lanka, 173 kilometers from Colombo, on the waterfront of the Indian Ocean. The old city of Galle and its castle were built on a rocky peninsula.
The Galle Fort is the most popular destination for tourists in Sri Lanka, which was also included in the "World Heritage List" as early as 1988. Galle was once the capital of Siri Lanka; it was a Dutch colony in the 17th century. Now it is the most well-preserved ancient city in Southeast Asia and South Asia, also the cleanest small city in Sri Lanka. Almost every tourist will get unlimited surprises here. The location of the Galle Fort is a natural port; since a large number of coral reefs grow in this sea waters, the entrance of the port has become extremely complicated.
Galle is one of the four major economic centers in Sri Lanka with a long history. The earliest history can be traced back to the period of the Solomon Dynasty around AD. King Solomon of Israel used Galle as a port to transport Sri Lankan gems, spices and peacocks to Jerusalem. The Portuguese built the Galle Fort first; the Dutch occupied it in 1640. To prove that the Dutch rule over Sri Lanka was indestructible, they built a castle of 360,000 square meters. The fortress was expanded and the mesh was designed. In addition to the two-tier city wall to the north, the street also has defensive walls built around the entire peninsula to prevent attacks from the sea. The walls of Galle Fort is not only blocked the artillery shells of other countries, but also blocked the huge tsunami of 2004 after 400 years, and preserved the style of the city. During British rule, the Dutch expanded again and built a passenger ferry terminal. Galle reached its peak of development in the 18th century and gradually declined until the Colombo breakwater was established.
The Dutch built the Galle Fort, and these castles are European architectural styles. Galle is a seaside city; it is not famous for its beaches, but the Galle Fort. This is the most famous castle in the old town of Galle. The road in the Galle Fort is intricate, like a flat net. At the center of the Galle Fort, there is a Baroque church, which is said to be the first Protestant church in Sri Lanka. The design of the church is strongly influenced by Sri Lankan architecture. The designer did not design the tower of the church but designed the church with rich lines and swirls. There are also many triangular mountain flowers on both sides of the church. There are many Windows in the walls of the church, so the lighting in the church is particularly good. The ceiling of the church is decorated with blue sky and stars, just like a beautiful picture of the night sky. A small grave is under the church, in memory of Sri Lanka's national leaders, and those who have made significant contributions in other fields.
What to see in the Galle Fort
The 12 bastions and defensive facility buildings centered on the Galle Fort are full of exoticism, blending European architectural art and the cultural traditions of South Asia. The Galle Fort is a typical representative of Europeans building defense fortresses in South Asia and Southeast Asia. After four centuries, the lighthouses, fortresses, churches, villas, and streets in the castle are well preserved, making it the best-preserved seaside castle in South Asia. In the Galle Fort, it still maintains its ancient charm. There are many houses and hotels with small shops for tourists to live in.
The north gate of the maritime museum is the most famous building in the Galle Fort. Above the main city gate, a city emblem, composed of two mighty lions, marked with the words 1873, indicates that it was built at that time. In addition to the castle and city walls, the pure white lighthouse standing on the beach is the most representative building in Galle City on the South Asian coast. Ascending the White Tower, the Dutch-style church, streets and alleys, and the clock tower - the symbol of the Galle Fort, all will be in your eyes. The clock tower has a history of 400 years.
The most prominent part of the Galle Fort wall is called the flag of rock, which echoes the lighthouse. During Dutch rule, all ships approaching this area were warned of dangerous rocks nearby. Today, it has become a place to admire the sunrise and sunset in the Galle Fort, and locals play high cliff diving here. From the Galle Fort's seawall, away from the lighthouse, a spectacular sunset over the Indian Ocean can be seen in the evening.
How to get to the Galle Fort
The train line from Colombo to Galle is the famous sea train, and the railroad tracks are less than 5 meters from the sea. Galle Railway Station is located outside but very close to the ancient city. Visitors could take Tuk-tuk from the train station to the Galle Fort.
The Best Time to visit the Galle Fort
The best time to visit the Galle Fort is from November to March, with less rainy and lower heat.