Galle

Galle is Sri Lanka’s fourth largest city that boasts an interesting history. It is home to nearly 80,000 people and is one of the most charming places to visit while exploring the island.

It all began in 1505 when the Portuguese took shelter in the port of Galle. On their way to Maldives, the Portuguese fleet was blown off course by a storm to Galle. This was a significant event that took place in the history of Galle as well as the country. The people of this great city fought against the foreign invaders therefore the Portuguese had to gain power by force.

The Portuguese constructed a small fort in 1598, which entirely demolished when the Dutch took over in 1640.  It was the Dutch who built the current 36-hectare Fort that is visible in the beautiful city of Galle which is today marked as a World Heritage Site.

During British rule, the Galle fort was very well preserved and was used as Galle’s administrative center. However, it is believed that Galle has been an important port even before western rule. It was with the Portuguese entering the port under Lorenzo de Almeida that the modern history of Galle began. Early history reveals that Indians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Arabs and even Persians have been trading goods through this port.  

Eighty per cent of Galle Fort has remained valued residential location. It has around 375 dwelling houses of Sinhalese, Muslims, Tamils, Burghers and other denominations living for years in total harmony without any communal differences. Galle Fort remains an esteemed and respected residential location for centuries, with its rich religious, educational and cultural values.

The sea beaches and the beautiful ramparts surrounding the Fortress have become nature’s inspiration which has been frequently featured in numerous magazines both here and abroad. The world famous southern coastal town of Hikkaduwa hosts the beach festival each year. It has become so popular that the amount of people gathering each year has increased.

The events in Galle doesn’t end there, the Galle Literary Festival which is major event is hosted in this spectacular city. Galle surely is a Jewel of a Festival.