Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, originally built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and then further developed by the Dutch and the British over the next 350 years. It covers nearly 4sqkm and is protected by 12 bastions and connecting ramparts. During the early 18th century, the Old Dutch Gate was the entrance to the Fort, but subsequently the British built the Main Gate that is still used today. Buildings of interest include the Dutch Reformed Church, All Saints Church, Amangalla Hotel (formerly the New Oriental Hotel), the lighthouse and bell tower. The Dutch also developed what was then an innovative tide-based sewage-system within the Fort.
Galle Fort is now comprised of a maze of narrow roads lined with small houses, restaurants, shops, villas and boutique hotels and is an utterly enchanting place to explore. The thick, high ramparts that protect and distinguish the Fort are today used for romantic evening strolls and early morning power-walks and offer wonderful views of the Indian Ocean. Wander through the quaint streets and explore the various art galleries, shops and eateries, or go on our Galle Fort Walking Tour to discover more about the history of the Fort and its vibrant, present-day multi-cultural society.