We Indians have been associated with Galle more because of the cricket, as it had been one of the three major centres of cricket in Sri Lanka, besides Colombo and Kandy. More recently, we felt the pain of an insulting defeat just on the eve of the Independence Day in first test match at Galle. Well, but to Sri Lanka Galle is more than just cricket, a slice of its colonial past and a monument of its cultural heritage, even listed in UNESCO World Heritage sites. Being surrounded by sea from three sides adds to its beauty.
Galle Fort is robust and even withstood 2004 Tsunami which caused a catastrophic devastation in the area. Built by Portuguese, it was later on fortified by Dutch. Still, many Dutch people own properties inside fort. A 18th century Dutch mansion is now a very popular luxury hotel- Galle Fort Hotel, still preserving its architecture.
Galle was strategically very important due to its location. It was also a harbour for ships- both of army and commercial. It also houses a All Saints Anglican Church and a Meera Mosque, besides a 1882 clock tower and a 1938 lighthouse. An excellent mix of European and South Asian architectures, Galle Fort is considered to be one of the world’s most authentic and unspoiled heritage sites.
A photo tour of the fort: