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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 13, 2018
Headline for Top 06 Reasons to Visit Galle – A Heritage City of Marvellous Allures
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 06 Reasons to Visit Galle – A Heritage City of Marvellous Allures

Galle sits on the southern coast of Sri Lanka; the place is a heritage city and was a 'hot' destination amongst colonists who have left behind today's UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Dutch Fort.

1

Explore the Galle Fort

Hard to miss and a shame to ignore, the massive Dutch Fort of Galle is the city's iconic landmark and most prominent attraction. Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site the fort was first set up in the 17th century by the invading Portuguese, who noticed the ideal location and convenience of the natural harbour in Galle. The fortification was taken over by the Dutch, enhanced and lost to the British, who went on to further strengthen the garrison. Today it provides a much loved respite, retaining its cobbled stoned streets, vintage Dutch bungalows, cafes along expansive corridors, a marine museum, a Dutch museum located in a vintage villa and ramparts that offer expansive views of the ocean. If you are a guest at Cantaloupe LEVELS, the fort is around 15 minutes away and is well worth a visit.

2

Explore the Sleepy Village of Unawatuna

Unawatuna is a mere 5 km from Galle; chilling at Jungle Beach is one of the top things to do in Unawatuna. The place is ideal for a day of sun sand and surf, coupled with plenty of watersports action. Explore Rumassala Hill, home to a variety of medicinal plants and exotic wildlife; the places origins has an interesting story, about a monkey king that dropped part of a Himalayan mound of earth accidentally, to form Rumassala. Do check it out.

3

Check Out the Dutch Reformed Church

This austere looking church was first built in 1640, if you come across the caretaker; do take time to chat to him as he has a wealth of knowledge on the church. Part of the church's stone floor is covered with gravestones from the Old Dutch cemetery, and adding to the eerie nature of the place are the legendary stories of human remains being hidden within the walls of the shrine. Although initially built in 1640, it was rebuilt in the 18th century and was enhanced with an impressive calamander wood pulpit as well as a large pipe organ.

4

Explore the National Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum too is located within the walls of the fort. It suffered extensive damage during the 2004 Tsunami but seems to have bounced back. On display are a number of nautical artefacts such as maps, artillery guns, naval crafts, ropes etc. Most of the relics on display were salvaged from wrecks found off the Galle coast; some date back to 800 years.

5

Witness Cliff Jumping

Head over to Flag Rock and you can witness the thrilling spectacle of seeing cliff divers leap off the ramparts into the ocean below. Scattered with jagged rocks and swirling frothy waves, the dive below is most definitely dangerous and is an outlandish leap that requires skill, precision and nerves of steel! Flag Rock is located around the south edge of the fort and in days of yore was a point the Dutch used to send out signals to approaching ships of the rocky dangers there.

6

Explore the Dutch Market

Enjoy holiday shopping around the laid-back environs of the Dutch Market which takes place under the shade of a 300 year old columned roof; that has been sheltering shoppers since 1861. The perfect place for a taste of the local way of life, the market is packed with sellers and shoppers, haggling over the prices of local fruits, vegetables and other products.

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