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Galle Fort: a journey to the past... See the remnants of a Dutch past at a World Heritage Site. Galle has been the emporium of foreign trade since the dawn of commerce. The Dutch Fort, which has been declared a World Heritage Site, surrounds the older part of the town and is situated on a headland of which three sides overlook the sea. The ramparts of the Fort are over 2.5 Km in circumference and provide a pleasant and interesting walk. The historian Sir Emerson Tennant claimed that Galle was the ancient biblical city of Tarshish. This city is said to have traded with King Solomon, the Persians and the Egyptians. In 1505 a Portuguese fleet led by Lorenzo de Almeida heading for the Maldives drifted accidentally into Galle. It is said that on hearing a cock crowing (cock means "Galo" in Portuguese) they gave the town its name. Another explanation for the name is from the Sinhala name for rock 'Gala', plenty of which are found in the harbour area. When the Portuguese arrived the town was already a thriving trader's port and an entrenched settlement in the lowland territory of the Kandyan Kings. It was however not until 1587 when the Portuguese were able to control Galle. The Dutch then arrived, overthrew the Portuguese and took control of Sri Lanka in 1640. It was the Dutch who had a major impact on Galle and the town still retains its characteristic Dutch architecture, the streets differing little from the times of Dutch occupation. There is Leyn Baan Street (Lijnbaan meaning rope walk in Dutch), Lighthouse Street previously known as Zeeburg Street) and Great and Small Streets Modderbaai meaning mud bay). The Galle Fort built by the Dutch in 1663 was handed over to the British in 1796 'in a state of complete repair' as certified by the officer taking charge. The British did not alter Galle as they concentrated their efforts on Colombo. Therefore the Fort remains a significant monument from the Dutch era.
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“sri lanka” (275 reviews)
“indian ocean” (55 reviews)
“nice walk” (48 reviews)
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Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
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271 - 280 of 1,639 reviews

Reviewed January 2, 2017 via mobile

We did not hire any guide and went there with our driver... The Fort is as good as the ones in goa.. If you have been to the famous Fort in goa where every Indian visits if in goa, then you will witness something similar...More

Thank Shridhar_Hegde
Reviewed January 2, 2017

The walled historic cirt certainly has a nice feel on it, the views from the walls on the new city and on the sea are certainly worth while. The old city, altough a bit touristy has certainly a nice feel about it with lots of...More

Thank Willy B
Reviewed January 1, 2017 via mobile

First of all, to visit is for free; the story is easy - when the Portuguese came, they told the locals they need a piece of land in size of a cows skin; they cut the skin into million of pieces and therefore got 96...More

Thank Mr_Dracia
Reviewed January 1, 2017 via mobile

We took a long walk around the fort and browsed through many stores. The place has many cafes and the architecture is truly wonderful. U will forget you are in Srilanka! ! Must visit place in Galle

Thank Dechamma M
Reviewed December 31, 2016

I stopped here quickly on my way from Colombo to Weligama. I walked around in a rush which took about 90 minutes. You could come for a day here if you wanted to shop and have a meal. Some nice Dutch buildings and churches, and...More

1  Thank HonestCritique7000
Reviewed December 31, 2016

stunning view of the bay, nice short walk around the old town is a must. We enjoyed the view and local vendors selling their crafts

Thank Trang T
Reviewed December 30, 2016 via mobile

A nice walk with some good sights, old lighthouse, clock tower and a great view of the cricket stadium from the bastions. Free to visit and enter - we walked it 3 times over 2 daya

Thank Xanthe H
Reviewed December 30, 2016 via mobile

Galle is a very interesting little town in Sri Lanka. We went on a day trip to Galle, from Mirissa, by tuk tuk. Beautiful town and a unique melange of Dutch and Portuguese architecture- that has been an iconic landmark of the historic Galle Fort...More

Thank namnam75
Reviewed December 30, 2016 via mobile

Interesting visit to the fortress and a good walk along the walls - go there at sunset where the setting is beautiful and the temperature is ok

Thank Kell T
Reviewed December 30, 2016

This landmark has a fantastic view of the Galle coastline, and you can see the cricket ground. Will visit again.

Thank phingersphil
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Questions & Answers
Dechamma M
December 21, 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Moksha P | Reviewed this property |
hi there so many. good restaurants on the peddlers street if you walk all of them are roadside restaurants which serves good food but if you want sea food peddlers in cafe is good
susan g
April 28, 2016|
Response from vishwa8587 |
There is a one inside all saint church