The Fortress is in the city of Galle which is 116 km away from Colombo. The fortress is situated along the southern coastline. The visitor can have a train ride along the picturesque coastal railway. This is an economic mode of transport for the daily commuters. Through the southern highway too the visitor can easily reach Galle.
Galle Fortress has been declared as a world heritage site. It was first built by the Portuguese in 1587 AD. Then the Dutch who captured the city from the Portuguese in 1640 AD developed the fortress according to the Dutch architecture. In 1796 the British captured the fortress. But almost all the features are Dutch architectural features. Even today some of the old buildings are used for important purposes such as government offices, museums, churches, kachchery, provincial offices, schools, hotels and restaurants.
Surrounding of the Galle Fort
One of the most fascinating sights from the fortress is the Rumassala Kanda. There is a newly opened restaurant at the foot of the mountain from where you can have a panoramic view of Galle. It has an unusual vegetation that is not found in the area. A legendary tale in Ramayanaya is associated with this residual mountain. There is a folk belief that there are very rare herbs in this mountain. The cricket stadium which faces the Galle fortress is an asset to the fortress as cricket fans all over the world.
What you can do in Galle?
Take a walk on the ramparts
Galle city is surrounded by thick ramparts. The Dutch merchants built these ramparts in the 17th century. The ramparts are so thick that you can walk along them – start at one end and finish at the other. Look towards the ocean, see the old prison between the ramparts and the waves, check out the lighthouse and the clock tower and watch the schoolboys practicing cricket.
You can roam along the streets along the Galle Fort and do some shopping. There are plenty of wayside boutiques full of local souvenirs. The most notable of goods that can be found in the little Galle Fort shops are Sri Lankan gems and jewellery. You can also find handwoven sarongs and home linen products. You can mingle with the local community and can get a local experience.
The beach town in Galle, Unawatuna, is an ideal place for surfing. They aren’t particularly big, but they are quite suitable for some fun in the ocean. They are also perfect for new surfers, especially beginners.
Stilt Fishing is one of the traditional fishing methods in Sri Lanka. According to the studies stilt fishing was started in Sri Lanka after the World War II. All along the coast this method of fishing was practiced but after the unexpected tsunami disaster in 2004 it was not practiced by the fishing community until recent years. When you visit Koggala and Ahangama the visitor can see the beautiful scene of stilt fishing, how the fishermen are perched on the poles to fish very skillfully.