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Recognized as a cultural heritage site by UNESCO for its amazing mixture of European architecture and South Asian traditions, Galle Fort is a creation of the Portuguese back in 1588. It was further strengthened by the Dutch during their power, hence also known as Dutch Fort. This beauty is located in the south west coast of the island, presently home to popular restaurants, cafes, museums and heritage monuments. The main motive of building the fort was to defend Galle as a sea-facing corner of the country. It is yet another magnetic tourist attraction which has also brought up Galle as one of the popular drive-aways in Sri Lanka creating business ventures in tourism. The fort is constructed out of granite stones and corals, covering up 222 acres of area and even today it stands magnificently with its royal grandeur overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Located 173km away from the capital city Colombo, Galle has emerged as the cultural capital of the southern coast and as a day tour destination even for the local travelers. With extensive conservation conducted by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka, Galle Fort is also the best-preserved sea fort in South Asia. Initially the fort was used as a protective wall for the coastal line and also as a port of call for ships sailing between East and Europe. Having undergone Portuguese, Dutch and British reigns, the fort is a combination of all three architectural designs that are visible to date through the resplendent buildings inside.
Large verandahs, arches, colorful brick walls, carved furniture and the complete layout inside the Galle Fort has historical significance while being a colorful holiday destination. Individual’s properties also fall under the fort premises and the residents are a mixture of many cultures as Sinhalese, Moor, Dutch, English and Portuguese settlers. Some of the famous monuments within the fort are All Saint’s Church, The Dutch Reformed Church, Meeran Jumma Mosque, National Maritime Archeological Museum and the Galle Fort Lighthouse.
In the present day, leading restaurant chains and antique shops have set up their businesses inside the Galle Fort, giving the opportunity for the travelers to cover dining and souvenir shopping. One can buy collectibles that have both the colonial and local touch to it and also choose out of a variety of mouthwatering international dishes. Most cafes serve Italian, Dutch and Portuguese dishes which food lovers willingly order. Not to forget the fresh sea food meals that add to the taste buds. Accommodation that suit all budgets can be easily accessed from around the fort, due to the huge number of travelers ranging from backpackers to luxury categories reaching the city. Galle is also well known as an entertainment hub, hence many festivals related to art such as literature, poetry, dance and music are conducted from time to time. The color and amazing backdrops make it an ideal place for good photography as well.
The Galle Fort is a heart touching splendor for all travelers. It is a monument that still displays its royalty, with a warm invite to all who wants to explore its glory.