A Panorama of Galle Fort

This UNESCO World Heritage site and its living fortified town within is the finest example of a European colonial fort in existence anywhere in Asia today.

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Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. It is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument, which even after more than 423 years maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka.

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The fort has a colourful history, and today has a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population. The Sri Lankan government and many Dutch people who still own some of the properties inside the fort are looking at making this one of the modern wonders of the world. The heritage value of the fort has been recognised by the UNESCO and the site has been inscribed as a cultural heritage UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique exposition that illustrates the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions between the 16th to the 19th centuries.

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I didn’t spend too long in the south of Sri Lanka, but then again I like to move around when I am travelling and not stay in the same place long enough to get bored. I figured 2 nights in Galle was all I needed before I headed back to Colombo via a beach here and there. During my trip to Galle, it was important for me to have a look around this UNESCO World Heritage Site that is known as Galle Fort.

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The Dutch Fort was one of the highlights of the area, although the old Ramparts were also spectacular amidst the backdrop of crashing waves of the Indian Ocean. There is also the Galle National Museum and a couple of churches. These churches are free to enter (although donations are encouraged), yet the Galle National Museum and the nearby Maritime Museum are each a steep 300 Rupees to enter, so I skipped those (even though the latter looked quite cool) and carried on looking at the free stuff in the cool sea breeze.

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