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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Exhibits at the Maritime Museum in Galle – Interesting Objects from the Sea
Joanna James Joanna James
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Exhibits at the Maritime Museum in Galle – Interesting Objects from the Sea

The Maritime Museum Galle is located within a lovely Dutch period warehouse; within you will find old boats and loads of maritime objects some from century old shipwrecks.


Fabulous Collection Replenished

The 2004 Asian Tsunami which hit Sri Lanka badly caused a lot of devastation to this museum. Housed within the 1671 Dutch Warehouse the many relics found within the halls were destroyed. However with aid from the Netherlands the place has received a new lease of life and is now more streamlined with many interesting artefacts on display. One could say that the devastation caused by the tsunami has left a mild reminder in some of the relics on display as an almost 'romantic prompt' to nature's fury.


The Dutch Warehouse – The Most Interesting Object

This building is quite unique in its structure as it has part of its walls inserted into the thick ramparts of the Galle Fort. The 17th century building is located within the UNESCO Heritage Site and consists of 2 floors. The earliest entry to the fort was through a division on the ground floor of this vintage warehouse and above this ancient gate one can see the old British Coat of Arms with an inscription on the inside reading 1668 VOC. This when translated is the abbreviation for the Dutch East India Company.


The 1992 Exhibits

The National Maritime Museum was located within the old Dutch warehouse and opened in 1992. At the time the place was dedicated to showcasing the oceans varied fauna and flora together with miniature models of whales and ships. There were many artefacts displayed that were retrieved from 20 odd marine sites around the Galle coast.


Ceramics from China

There are lots of beautiful Chinese ceramics retrieved from ships. These range from common eating bowls to impressive earns from prominent dynasties of the Chinese kingdom.


Model Ships

There are plenty of model ships on display that will prove to be an interesting scout for individuals interested in ships, models and vintage marine paraphernalia. There are fascinating murals that depict the arrival of Prince Vijaya to Sri Lanka together with lifelike models of local people from that era towards the Dutch occupied period.


Naval Artefacts on Display

Loads of artefacts excavated from shipwrecks just off the coast are on display. Enjoy a browse through old maps, naval crafts, ropes, old beer mugs, sailor's shoes, artillery, vintage guns, smoking pipes and barrels. Some of these fascinating objects are over 800 years old and well worth a browse. The renovated building offers dual access from within the fort and the main gate; this places the museum within easy access of hotels in Galle Sri Lanka. The museum and fabulous Galle fort is within easy view of the Closenberg Hotel; located on a peninsula off the coast.

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