Galle is a jewel. This place is a Unesco World Heritage Site, a well-known city, is bliss to explore on foot, an endlessly exotic old trading port endowed with impressive Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, large houses and museums.
Drive through the vast streets and stroll through stylish cafes, bizarre boutiques and perfectly restored hotels owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers and designers.
Built by the Dutch, in 1663, Galle’s core is the Fort, a walled enclave surrounded on three sides by the ocean. A vital part of the Fort’s appeal is that it isn’t just a lovely place. Sure, tourism now manages the local economy, but this unique city remains a working community.
Places To Visit in Galle
Galle Fort in Galle Bay on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards.
It is a historic, archaeological and architectural monument that has retained its polished appearance for more than 423 years thanks to extensive renovations of the Sri Lanka Archaeological Department.
The heritage values of the fortress been recognized by UNESCO and the site been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site by UNESCO criteria, for its unique “urban ensemble, illustrating the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th century.
Galle Lighthouse a lighthouse on the mainland in Galle, Sri Lanka and operated and administered by the Port Authority of Sri Lanka.
One of Sri Lanka’s oldest light station dating back to 1848, but the original 24.5-meter-high (80 ft) lighthouse built by the British located about 100 meters (330 ft) from the current site; however, destroyed by fire in 1934.
The existing 26.5-meter-high (87 ft) lighthouse built here in 1939. The original light fitted with a glass prism lens floating in a mercury bath (reducing friction) and powered by a machine powered by weight.
The light station is located in Galle Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous sightseer attractions.
Dutch Reformed Church
Originally built in 1640, the current building dates back to 1752. Its floor paved with gravestones from Dutch cemeteries. Other important features include an organ and an impressive pulpit made of calamander wood and finished with large hexagonal coverings. One can meet a friendly caretaker who likely to point to a (somewhat bizarre) carved wooden memorial dedicated to former Galle Commander, Abraham Samlant – a tiny cotton shirt said to be the one he baptized.
Well Known Restaurants in Galle
- Elita Restaurant – To satiate your desire for delicious seafood, visit Elita Restaurant, one of the best value-for-money restaurants in Galle. Ideally situated on Middle Street, this place is the paradise for those who dribble for fresh and well-cooked seafood. From calamari, shrimp to crab, snapper and fish, they serve it all and pairing with white wine makes it even more surreal.
- Royal Dutch Cafe– Perched on a large porch with columns, Royal Dutch Cafe is a small but attractive local restaurant owned by an eminent storyteller. If you are travelling alone, it will not leave you bored while experiencing the delicious banana pancakes or the delightful Sri Lankan curry for dinner. The selection of teas and coffees served at the Royal Dutch Cafe is also surprising.
- The Heritage Cafe– Like most restaurants in Galle, The Heritage Cafe sits in a small courtyard of a colonial-style building and has a picturesque and welcoming atmosphere. Specializing in local food, the restaurant offers a wide variety of seafood dishes and selected Western favourites. The cafe served in the original Italian Lavazza restaurant, treating coffee lovers with incredible quality and good taste.
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