Travel Report Galle
In 1502, when Google Maps didn’t exist and the world believed that the earth had the shape of a plate, a brave group of people located in the far west of the European continent (named the Portuguese) accidentally ended up in Galle, blown off by a storm while making their way to the Maldives. On that day modern Galle was born!
Taking advantage of the fact that the king was based in Kotte (outskirts of Colombo), the Portuguese set foot on this port and a new spice route emerged. Later the Dutch took over the fort, extending and developing the city to what is seen today on its streets and architectural buildings. From those days to the present, the city has grown outside of its notorious fort and stands nowadays on its own holding the title of the so-called Capital District of Galle Region.
Discovering the Old Town
Even though, its expansion has risen its population and status against other Sri Lankan cities, Galle’s jewel crown is still its fort and the life inside these walls! We were impressed by the mini-Europe surrounded by a tall and thick wall that gifts its visitors with charming cafes, trendy restaurants, iconic religious buildings and a romantic scenery, loved by both tourists and local Sri Lankans. We enjoyed exploring numerous small shops where you can purchase precious and semi-precious rocks.
There is also a beautiful walk path called the promenade that lead us directly to the old light house. For us, the old town of Galle is Sri Lanka’s most impressive place from an architecture point of view. However, once leaving the old town there is not much more interesting to discover if you are already accustomed to the usual buzz of the country. However, next to the fort there is a huge cricket field that often sets the scene for international games. At our arrival it was England against Sri Lanka and once more we experienced the craziness and joy Sri Lankans have towards their national sport cricket…
To know more about the beaches on Galle’s coast line check our report about Sri Lankas beaches.
Travel Tips and Info
Where is it? Southwest Sri Lanka. Colombo 130 km; Tangalle 80 km
What is it famous for? Galle Fortress and historic city center, cricket
What is good to know? Inside the fort are only two ATMs, so if cash needed remember to get loaded before
A funny Fact? It is believed that during the approach of D. Lourenço’s ship to shore a “galo” (Portuguese word for cock/rooster) has been heard crowing from afar. And because of that the Portuguese have named this port and fort as “Forte de Galle” (Galle’s Fort). Even nowadays this proud bird still appears on the city’s coat of arms.