05 Januari 2012

Galle Fort – An Iconic World Heritage Site

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Located along the south western point of the island nation of Sri Lanka, the city of Galle boasts a rich historical, cultural and colonial heritage. Situated around 119 kms from the commercial capital of Colombo, it is home to a fascinating array of colonial structures and none are more magnificent than the massive Galle Fort.

Also known as the Galle Dutch Fort or the Galle Ramparts, this iconic structure is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the best preserved forts of its kind. Initially constructed by the Portuguese in 1588, the fort was later expanded and improved by the Dutch who subsequently took control over the area in the 17th century. A site which has a significant historical and archaeological heritage, the fort is spread across an area of around 52 hectares.

Additions and renovations made by the Dutch included the enlargement of the fortifications so that it would encircle the peninsula and act as a defence against invading colonial forces. Among the architectural features one will find here are two massive Portcullised gates, one of which bears the Dutch Coat of Arms, a variety of bastions and a gate with the British Coat of Arms. The British used the fort as their southern headquarters and made their own additions and changes to the fortifications such as constructing a lighthouse.

Within the fort one will find well planned and laid out streets with Dutch colonial style houses and structures some of which are heritage monuments. A great place to experience the country’s rich colonial heritage, the area is home to such places of interest as the Dutch Reformed Church, the National Maritime Museum, the Meera Mosque, the old Dutch government house and the soaring Clock Tower.
Travellers visiting the region and in search of beach hotels in Sri Lanka can stay in such coastal areas as Hikkaduwa which makes an ideal base to visit attractions such as the Galle Fort and Ramparts. A luxurious Hikkaduwa hotel which offers excellent accommodation options coupled with impeccable service, Chaaya Tranz Hikkaduwa lets you experience an unforgettable island holiday amidst the sun, sand and surf.