Things to Do & Must-See Attractions in Galle
The Sri Lankan city of Galle was founded by Portuguese explorers in the sixteenth century. In 1640, the Dutch moved in and began fortifying the town by constructing an 89-acre (36-hectare) fort on the town’s promontory, surrounded on three sides by the Bay of Galle. Today, the old town of Galle and its fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988, ranks among the best preserved European-built fortified cities in Southeast Asia.
The fort remains so much more than a historical attraction. The town is very much still alive. The walled city still houses government buildings, businesses, museums, cafes, and shops. The narrow streets are filled with residents going about their business. The ramparts overlook the Indian Ocean and provide a popular viewing spot at sunrise.
Galle Fort Lighthouse is located within the historic Galle Fort in Sri Lanka and is one of just 14 remaining lighthouses in the country. In fact, this is Sri Lanka's oldest light station and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The original structure was built in 1848, but was destroyed in a fire in the 1930s. The current lighthouse was built 100 meters away from the original site upon ramparts standing six meters above ground level. The light station itself is just over 26 meters tall, giving it a panoramic view of the harbour. Galle Fort Lighthouse overlooks a small beach, and there are a number of shops and restaurants nearby. The area provides some fantastic views and photo opportunities, although unfortunately visitors are unable to enter the lighthouse to climb up it.
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