The Galle Dutch Fort was built in the bay of Galle city in 1588, by the Portuguese colonialists. Even if the Portuguese were the ones who initially started the construction of the fort, the fort was later additionally developed by the Dutch and the British. The Dutch fort is a famous historical and architectural monument in Sri Lanka and is well deserving of visitors’ attention. The Fort has also been recognized by UNESCO.
Galle is the city where the Portuguese landed first in Sri Lanka in 1505. This was a completely unknown land for them but they forged an alliance with the king of Sri Lanka shortly after and started the construction of the port. At first, the Dutch Fort was small and its name was Santa Cruz. It was constructed of mud and palm trees, only available raw materials on the island at the time. The fort was used for a few years as a prison when Portuguese influence on the island started to dwindle. The fort fell into the hands of the Dutch when they aligned their troops with Sinhalese king Raja Singha II.
The fort was used by the Dutch as their main base which is why it was in their best interest to improve the weak fortification walls in order to be able to defend themselves from the enemies. The Dutch have constructed, within the fort, a Protestant Church, the Commander’s House, arsenal////, warehouses for various use, administration buildings, trading offices and various shops that handled the repair of the defense structure.
When the Dutch Fort fell into the hands of the British, in 1796, additional changes were put in place, and additional bastions were constructed.
Today, this historical monument represents a memorial place of a colonial era which had gone by. The Dutch Fort is a place where visitors may witness historical events in Sri Lanka. Visitors may also see several bastions that were in use once. Inside the fort there is a charming little town that was inhabited during the Dutch era. Here one may find many small houses with nice terraces in Dutch Colonial style, churches, mosques and many buildings that had a different use at that time.
Ticket price for the Dutch Fort in Galle
The entrance price for the Dutch Fort in Galle is free of charge. If a visitor has the chance to visit the southern coast of Sri Lanka it would be a shame not to visit this historical place.