Galle Fort was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese and further fortified by the Dutch in the years after. It prevented attacks from colonial competitors both from the sea as the land. Along the walls, you would find battlements for defense in case of an invasion.
Galle was handed over to the British in 1796 and they made a number of changes to the city, the most recognizable of which is the tower that you can see from various points in town.
Under Dutch rule, about 500 families lived here and you could find public buildings, administration centers, military facilities, warehouses and churches within the walls. The fort as you can see it today features well-preserved colonial architecture (of course heavily influenced by the Portugese and the Dutch who built the town in the style of their homeland) and cobblestone streets in a grid-layout and has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
One of the most famous landmarks in the fort is the Galle lighthouse. While you can’t climb up to the top of the lighthouse, it does provide a gorgeous backdrop for photographs. The interesting part about the light house is that it has been standing since 1939 which makes it close to a 100 years old. The structure is so well maintained that it looks relatively new.
Walking through the Alleyways
One of the nicest things to do in Galle fort is to walk through narrow streets. The streets always have a surprise to offer at every bend. Whether it is a religious structure, a place to eat or the gorgeous façade of the buildings around, you will definitely find something that will capture your attention. You can also catch a bite to eat at some of the restaurants situated on these roads.