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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Places to See in Galle - Old Town's New Discoveries
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Places to See in Galle - Old Town's New Discoveries

Galle is a heritage city; home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a charm that is reminiscent of Sri Lanka's colonial past. Here are some of the top sites to visit around this historic city.

1

Head Over to Flag Rock

Flag Rock is located at the south end of the iconic Galle Fort; it was in its heyday, a Portuguese bastion. Today, this is the place to head to for vistas of a breath-taking sunset. The atmosphere around the area is relaxed; it is not uncommon to see a couple of daredevil locals taking that treacherous leap into the sea from the rocks. For those of you with no intention of leaping off a rocky mound and into the Indian Ocean; there are vendors selling sweet and juicy slices of pineapple with dashes of chilli and salt.

2

Check Out the Old Gate

The Old Gate of the Galle Fort, probably one of the first attractions guests at hotels in Ahungalla head to; it is resplendent with a huge vintage British coat of arms. In the middle of the emblem are the letters VOC, standing for 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' which translates to the Dutch East India Company. The inscription on it dates the artefact to 1669, and is bordered by two lions on either side and a cockerel on top; part of the fortification behind these gates served as a depository for spice.

3

Explore the Marine Archaeological Museum

This museum is located within the iconic Galle Fort; just an hour's drive from hotels like Heritance Ahungalla. The maritime museum is housed in a 17th-century spice warehouse built by Dutch colonists; hence the structure still remains as part of the ramparts. Plenty of artefacts recovered from ships sunk off the Galle Fort are displayed there; as well as some pretty interesting details of the Chinese explorer that approached the island via a huge sea fleet. Located on Church Street, the Museum is open from 8 am to 5 pm.

4

Absorb some History at the Dutch Reformed Church

This charming vintage shrine is located at the end of Church and Middle Street. Originally constructed in 1640, the place was renovated in 1752. The floor of this church is filled with tombstones from old Dutch cemeteries. Other antique artefacts to admire here include the old pipe organ and pulpit made out of Calamander wood; if you do come across a caretaker, ask them about the old wooden memorial. This is a carved monument dedicated to Abraham Samlant, a former Commander of Galle. There, a rather strange monument within a church is a small white cotton shirt; this is believed to be the garment the commander was baptized in as a baby. The church is open from 9 am to 5 pm.

5

The Meeran Mosque for Unique Architectural Styles

This mosque has been well maintained over the years; it sits facing the old lighthouse and is very unusual in design. The complex is made up of Baroque, Victorian and Islamic architectural styles. On invitation and when dressed appropriately, you can explore the interior, consisting of artistic tiles, a small mihrab a much more.

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