Located in the southern tip of Sri Lanka is the city of Galle, which is listed as a world heritage site due to its huge Fortress. The city of Galle was ruled by 3 different countries. It was first invaded by the Portuguese in the late fifteenth century who built a big fortress in the city. Before the arrival of Portuguese in the late sixteenth century, Galle was known as ‘Gimhathiththa’. In the early sixteenth century, the Dutch arrived with twelve ships and two thousand men and defeated the Portuguese. They converted the fort into bastions. Later, in the late seventeenth century, British conquered and ruled the country. They didn’t make any modifications to the fort and used it as a administration office. Hence, one will find a fusion of Portuguese, Dutch and local architectural styles in the fort.
What to See
Apart from the Galle fort, there are other points of tourists attractions like Dutch Church, Maritime Archeology Museum, Galle Light House, Peace Pagoda, Kalutara temple etc. Another major tourist attraction of Galle is the coastal town of Unawatuna Bay. Built in the late nineteenth century, the National Museum of Galle is one of the main tourist point of interests of the city. The museum is established in a sixteenth century single storied Dutch building. Originally, this building was constructed to serve as the residence of the Dutch Governor in Galle. After sometime, it was converted into a billiards room for the adjoining hotel of New Oriental, which is now transformed into a luxurious resort named Amangalla. The National museums department opened the museum in this building with a sole purpose of making the public aware about the traditions and cultural heritage of the southern region of this country. This museum offers a wide collection of anthropological and archaeological items that were inherited in this part of the island. There are a number of traditional masks on display that were used in performing various rituals during those period. Some of the most important exhibits in this museum are the ornamental items that were made of turtle shells, ancient wooden carvings, large water vessels used to store the arms and ammunitions by the Dutch soldiers and the equipments that were used in Dutch ships when they arrived in Galle.
This town is famous for promoting water sport activities like swimming, snorkeling, whale watching etc. Galle also boasts to house one of the World’s most beautiful cricket ground - Galle International Stadium. There are few sea turtle hatcheries around the coastal area. Every year, thousands of tourist visit this city just to enjoy the scenic beauty of this sea city and also stroll around the beach areas viewing the stilt fishermen&hand painted fishing boats. The city offers a wide range of hotel accommodations, even small boutique hotels.
Best Time to visit
The spring season in Sri Lanka that lasts from February to April is considered a good time to visit this city. Due to its popular beach and beach activities, these months are ideal for a traveler looking to have a good time at the beaches and also engage in several water sports and beach activities. May to September will be the wettest months whereas from December to February the temperatures will range between twenty nine to thirty one degrees Celsius.