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“Great for a peaceful wander”
Review of Galle Fort

Galle Fort
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Galle Full-Day Tour
Ranked #2 of 57 things to do in Galle
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Whitstable, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Great for a peaceful wander”
Reviewed January 17, 2014

Spent three nights here in peaceful surroundings recovering from three weeks with the grandchildren! Interesting buildings and real sense of colonial display of strength in the walls and bastions. The town is slowly being restored and renovated. Many good enough places to eat provide enough variety for a couple of days, though never found Sri Lanka a gourmet's destination. Some tasteful shopping like Barefoot and Exotic Roots provide an excellent alternative to beach touts. There are locals living and working in the old town, but it could end up pickled in aspic if developers are not careful.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank barbara w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A fascinating eve at the Old dutch fort-Galle”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

Galle is my born city and the fort is not a new place to be...but after few years I visited the fort in an evening with my family to see how it looks now and to cherish some wonderful memories of the past, when I was a school boy.

Old dutch fort is one of the greatest monuments of Sri Lankan history, although it was built by an European Nation in 18th century. Anyone can see and experience the greats of old architecture, lifestyle and the beautiful sea right below the fortress walls.

Things to do:
Walk around the fortress wall watching the sea, watch the old light house and the old clock tower, watch sunset, play a ball game in the ramparts, evening snack or dinner at roadside with sea breeze blowing across, sea bath and swimming in the natural pool, visit the Buddhist temple and many more....specially lying down on the fortress wall and watch stars around 7-8 pm at night!!!!

Tips to get the best out of your tour:
Go in groups of at least 2-3- Its much enjoyable and safer too.
Start your tour around 3pm- Watch the old clock tower and the front view of the Galle city where you will see the International cricket stadium right infront of your eyes. Then have a walk through the fort streets watching old craftsmanship and the architecture of Dutch/Portuguese buildings.
Then go to the natural pool and have a bath...careful with sea urchins!
Then have an evening snack- Plenty of street food corners..Don't worry, it is typhoid free!Just enjoy.
Have a walk around the fortress wall. You will never feel tired. Sea breeze will keep your hair busy and the body relaxed. Watch the sunset. Its one of the best places in the whole world to watch the the multicolored glittering sunset...you will never forget it. Take a snap and share with your friends in FB or twitter.
Play some cricket or volleyball at the ramparts...you will be warmly welcome by the locals if you care to share your passion and friendship.
If you like, can visit the Buddhist temple in the fort and speak with the monks.
Then feel free to enjoy a local/international cuisine of your choice at a restaurant or a street food center.
Last but the best part of it is to lay down on the fortress wall floor and watch stars...something I just love to do which brings me my old memories...Just do it and see what I mean!
Hope this would help you...

Visited January 2014
Thank Neranga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
59 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Nice walk”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

Enjoyed walking around the fort walls and getting a peak of its early history. Cute little shops inside the fort made for an easy and relaxing afternoon. Didn't eat there but looked like there were several good restaurants to choose from.

Visited January 2014
Thank TexasMerlot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Beautiful Fort”
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Great area for an afternoon visit/dinner. Lot's of cute shops, cafes and restaurants. The fort wall make for a great strol around Sunset.

Visited January 2014
Thank irina_nyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Nice walk”
Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

The fort area is a very nice place to walk around between the other tourists and locals who are playing cricket. The sunset is amazing!

Visited January 2014
Thank Miekesv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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