Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Dutch Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka.

The Galle Dutch Fort is a rare historical jewel protected by dark, thick stone walls – with the endless ocean on one side. The roads inside the Galle Fort have hardly changed, like the squares on a chess board crisscrossing in regular patches. Straight and narrow lanes branch in and out inviting the visitor to a delightful walk into the 17th century.
dutch clock tower at Galle Fort
dutch clock tower at Galle Fort
Today’s Peddler Street was called “Moorse Kramerstraat” by the Dutch, Lighthouse Street was “Zeeburgstraat and Middelpuntstraat”, Hospital Street as `Nieuwe Lijnbaanstraat and Lijnbaanstraat (New Ropewalk Street), Old Ropewalk Street as Oude Lijnbaanstraat (Old Rope-Walk Street), Church Street as Kerkstraat, Parrawa Street as “Parruasstraat” and Chiando Street as “Chiandostraat”. Through this memory walk one would however miss the 17th century familiar vendors who traded in cinnamon, lace, elephants, tortoise and turtle shell ornaments besides the famous down south sweetmeats like “bondi aluwa” hanging in garlands from the shoulders of vendors.
Built by the Portuguese in 1620, the Galle Fort was fortified by the Dutch in 1667. The historical walk would also revive memories of places within the Fort as Sao Lago (Sun Bastion), Middelpunt (Moon Bastion), Cavaliar, Sao Antonio and Zeepunt (Star Bastion), Porte da Muro (Wall Gate), Porte da traisao (Treason Gate)Santa Cruz and Zwarte Fort (Black Fort), Akersloot Bastion, Halve Maanrje (Utrecht Bastion or Half Moon), Nieuw Werk (Klipenburg Bastion) Nieuwe Punt (New Point), Halve Bolwerk (Half Bastion)- Aeolus Bastion, Triton Bastion, Neptune Bastion, Aurora bastion, Rocky Bastion, Negotie-mantoor (Trade Office).
This original rare old antique engraved print from: “Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indiën” (Old and New East Indies) by François Valentyn / Valentijn, published in 1724-1726. source :
This original rare old antique engraved print from: “Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indiën” (Old and New East Indies) by François Valentyn / Valentijn, published in 1724-1726.
source :
Ancient monuments within this historical complex included the Lighthouse, the clock tower, the first Dutch Reformed and Anglican churches, the Meera Mosque, the Buddhist Temple, and the Commander’s Residence. Worthy of mention is the Dutch Reformed Church with its baroque facade and the usual double scroll mouldings on its gables which testify to indigenous influence. The military architecture of the Fort is European in design. The unique Galle Fort is still the best preserved fortified city in South Asia.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sights at Arugam Bay, Sr Lanka.

An old Outrigger Canoe.

Surf-boards for hire.

A delicatessen

The beach

Outrigger canoes made of fiberglas.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The rampart and the site of the Gallows in Dutch times, Fort, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka.

This was supposed to have been the site  of the gallows of Dutch times. I heard a legend in Batticaloa in the 1980s that some watchers at night have heard sounds of booted marching feet and shouted commands coming from this site. This was presumably coming from the ghost of a long dead commander of the Dutch Fort.

Batticaloa fort

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Print of sketch by Baldeus
The Batticaloa Fort (Sinhaleseමඩකලපුව බලකොටුවTamilமட்டக்களப்புக் கோட்டை) was built by the Portuguese in 1628 and was captured by the Dutch on 18 May 1638.[2] Later, the fort was used by British from 1745.
The fort has a structure of four bastions and is protected by the Batticaloa Lagoon on two sides and a canal on the other two sides. The fort is still in reasonable condition and currently houses several local administrative departments of the Sri Lanka government in new buildings, which are located within the old structure.[3]


Timeline of Batticaloa fort in colonial time.[4]
  • 1622 – Construction began by Portuguese
  • 1628 – Construction completed
  • 1638 – Dutch captured
  • 1639 – Fort destroyed by Dutch
  • 1665 – Reconstruction started
  • 1682 – Renovation
  • 1707 – Front bastion and complex completed
  • 1766 – Ceded to Kandyan kingdom
  • 1796 – Captured by British