One of the most popular holiday destinations in Sri Lanka, Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which once served as a key trading port for the European colonial powers that occupied most of the island for over 300 years between the 16th and 19th centuries. Although first built by the Portuguese, it is commonly referred to as the Dutch Fort, as it was they who heavily fortified it in the 1700s to include ramparts constructed from granite and coral, 14 bastions and cannons to protect the port from invading ships. Today, Galle Fort has a microcosmic culture comprised of a melting pot of nationalities and religions and historic and modern influences, and is truly fascinating to explore.
Discover the history of Galle Fort with your host, who has an intimate knowledge of its colonial past, as well as details of the part the fort played in connecting Sri Lanka with the early Persian, Greek, Roman and Arab traders, and an interest in architecture in Sri Lanka. The tour winds through the Dutch Fort’s cobblestoned streets, passing historical buildings sitting side-by-side with modern restaurants, as your host points out the interesting heritage architecture of the colonial buildings and shares thrilling tales of historic battles once fought for control of this key seaport.