Galle, Sri Lanka
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Approximately 4 Hours
Meals not included
Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications
"Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, before the arrival of the British. It is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and South Asian traditions."Galle, formerly known as Gimhathiththa, is a city that was once the main seaport of Sri Lanka. The modern history of Galle began in 1505 with the arrival of the Portuguese, who ruled until 1640 when they surrendered to the Dutch East India Company. The British took over from the Dutch in 1796.
Stop for photos to see one of Sri Lanka’s most fascinating scenes, the stilt fishermen of the southern coast.
The Martin Wickremasinghe Folk Museum holds more than 1,000 artifacts relating to Sri Lankan rural life. Some of the exhibits include Buddhist religious artifacts, pottery, a unique collection of masks, musical instruments, traditional lace making, costumes and jewelry.
Next, you will visit Galle Fort. Enter through the old gates and drive around or walk on the ramparts, to take in the spectacular view of Galle. This is one of the best-preserved examples of 17th century colonial fortifications in the world.
The Dutch Church is an excellent example of colonial architecture and is the oldest Protestant church still in use in Sri Lanka. Completed and consecrated in 1755, it features a floor covered by 20 heavily embossed and engraved gravestones, moved by the British into this church in 1853 from other locations.
During your free time, explore the surrounding area or browse the shops displaying an interesting variety of antiques, jewelry and handicrafts.
Return to the pier and rejoin the ship.
Please note: Photography is not allowed in certain parts of the Martin Wickremasinghe Folk Museum. You may be required to remove your shoes at the museum.