4 hours ago
Proudly looming over the City of Galle, brushing against the ivory waves of the southern sea, is the largest fortress built by the europeans in Asia. Being one of the five UNESCO historic sites in Sri Lanka, it is one of the major attractions you'll find there.
This beautiful fortress was first built by the portuguese in 1588. During the Dutch invasions in the 17th century, it was rebuilt by the Dutch. In 1663, it was completed and for over two centuries it served as the main harbour for the ships travelling between Europe and Asia.
Galle Fort is within the walking distance from the main bus station and the railway station. You can enter through the main entrance which is a huge granite arch. It takes around 2 hours just to walk along the wall. At the entrance there's a huge canal which has been used in the ancient times to transport rocks for building the fortress. Once inside, you'll be bewildered for a second, wondering whether you are in Sri Lanka or some European city. The architecture and the setting is completely exotic and elegant due to the influence of the Dutch. If you need to meander down the streets, it is best to visit there in a morning; however the sunset is the most beautiful scenery. The Galle Fort is open all the time therefore anybody can visit it whenever they want.
The fort encloses a whole city, a metropolitan area known as the old town. Inside these walls the old dutch church, All Saints Church, maritime museum, a lighthouse, several hotels and restaurants serving a variety of foods can be found. There is a huge clock tower on to which you can climb. You can climb on to the walls and walk along it too! On your way, there will be some cliff divers who will perform some incredible stunts for you for about 7-8 USD. The old dutch hospital is now converted into an elegant shopping complex, and you will find many shops where you can buy beautiful souvenirs and savour different cuisines.
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