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The Voyager

Galle

The seaside city of Galle dates back to the sixteenth century and stood accumulating its rich culture through the colonial periods of the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Today Galle is an archeological treasure trove.

The Galle Fort
Distance: 1.5 km

Built first by the Portuguese in the year 1588 and extensively fortified by the Dutch, the Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place is one of the most pleasant strolls by evening as you follow the circuit of its majestic walls. Be sure to make your way upto the historic clock tower that lies at a high point from which the rest of the fort can be viewed.

Encased within the walls of the fort is an ensemble of colonial architecture. Today the Galle Fort houses many pretty shops for jewellery, fashion, books, handicraft and more making it one of the finest destinations in the island.

 

 

The Dutch Reformed Church
Within the Galle Fort

The Dutch Reformed Church is the oldest of the many churches in Galle and was built in 1640. Its floor is paved with gravestones from the old Dutch cemetery and the church also houses an impressive pulpit. The organ from 1760 still stands as a work of art of this period.

 

 

The Historical Mansion
Within the Galle Fort

This privately owned museum is set in a grand Dutch mansion with priceless exhibits of colonial history. The characteristic central courtyard with its old water well and a stone slab inscribed with the monogram of the Dutch East India Company dated 1763, is most captivating.

In addition to the grand furniture, do take time to study the collection of trivia - fashionable tea cups and kettles with the mark of Queen Elizabeth 2, bangles and earrings, handicrafts made of turtle shell and porcupine quill as well as a great collection of historical lamps can all be found here.

 

 

Galle Lighthouse
Within the Galle Fort

For centuries Galle was Sri Lanka’s main port for trading. This site is that of Sri Lanka’s first light station built in 1848. Unfortunately the original lighthouse was destroyed in a fire. The current lighthouse dates back to 1934 and stands as a symbol of its time.

 

 

National Museum, Galle
Within the Galle Fort

The single storey building with a pretty verandah to enter through is one of the oldest Dutch buildings of Galle constructed in 1656. Exhibits include arms and weapons used by Dutch soldiers, porcelain objects and other artifacts.

Most interestingly this is an important place to learn about southern culture of the native people. Collections of traditional masks used in various rituals, ancient wood carvings and local ‘beeralu’ lace will give more than a glimpse of southern culture and social customs.

 

 

National Maritime Museum
Within the Galle Fort

Most interestingly this is an important place to learn about southern culture of the native people. Collections of traditional masks used in various rituals, ancient wood carvings and local ‘beeralu’ lace will give more than a glimpse of southern culture and social customs.

Salvaged items from old ship wrecks are many. Life-size dioramas of traditional boats and methods of fishinglet you understand a key livelihood of the region. Other exhibits showcase ocean habitats and important species.

 

 

Meera Mosque
Within the Galle Fort

Built in 1909, this is the main mosque of Galle. Its impressive white walled structure will catch your eye as you drive alongside the ocean. The mosque is also a testament of the multi-cultural society within the walls of the Galle Fort.

The Skywalk over Galle Fort - Departing from Koggala Airport a skywalk can be arranged over the lush Koggala Lake, Galle Fort and the scenic Unawatuna Bay.

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