Délices d’Architecture: Galle Sri Lanka

Galle Fort is a beautiful UNESCO heritage listed town on the south-western coast of Sri Lanka, built first by the Portuguese and then fortified by the Dutch. (Those Dutch certainly knew how to build ramparts! These provide a spectacular passagiata as the sun sets, the lizards, crows, magpies and colourful tourists come out.)

Galle features in Ptolemy’s world map of 125-150 AD as it has been an important port over the ages. (Now China is pumping lots of money into Sri Lanka because of its strategic position).

The Fort has also served as a prison for rebellious Sinhalese opposed to Portuguese rule.

Sri Lanka was a British colony from 1815 until 1948 when it became an independent island nation (a Socialist Democratic Republic, which is a tad confusing).

Like other UNESCO listed towns we have visited, Hoi An, Malacca and Luang Prabang, Galle is incredibly beautiful, wonderfully preserved and just lovely to trundle about aimlessly.

We speculate idly that some of the window frames, (particularly the one below look which looks like the rear window on a galleon from central casting), might have been taken from ship wrecks in the harbour.

The Dutch influence is prevelant in the churches not letting us forget that mortality is just ’round the corner – Strangely discordant in such an idyllic place.


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