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Galle is a place one could relax and enjoy

April 28th, 2017
Galle is a place one could relax and enjoy

Seventy-two miles or 120 kilometres from Colombo (about an hour's travel) lies the picturesque city of Galle. The impressive fort with its narrow roads, take you back to another era; like time stood still. Among the hustle and bustle of this busy city, a walk along the ramparts will lead you to The Groote Kerk or Dutch Reformed Church, originally built by the Dutch in 1755; it is one of the oldest Protestant churches still in use in the country.

The ancient buildings of Galle Fort
Entrance to the Gall Fort
A 17th century construction within the Galle Fort

The present church was built on the highest point in the Galle Fort, which stands more than 12 m (39 ft) above sea level. The foundations of the church were initially laid in 1682 but further work stagnated for a number of decades. In 1755 the Commander of Galle, Casparus de Jong (Lord of Spanbroek) and his wife Geertruyda Adriana Le Grand, donated the money for the church to be constructed as a thanksgiving for the birth of their child for which he had waited for many years. The child was not baptised until the church was completed. An entry in the Baptismal Register gives the date of baptism as 24 August 1755. In 1760 a second-hand organ from Colombo was installed in the church.

Its floor is paved with gravestones from the old Dutch cemetery (the oldest dates back to 1662). The wooden pulpit is built in a hexagonal shape with calamander panelling from Malaysia mixed with local satinwood and is an imposing piece.

The old Dutch Reformed Church in Galle
Ancient stained glasses at Galle Dutch
Galle Dutch Reformed Church inauguration notice
The ancient tombs at Galle Dutch Reformed Church
The 18th century Dutch Reformed Church in Galle
The side view of Dutch Reformed Church in Galle

The National Maritime Museum situated within the Galle Fort is located in a 1671 Dutch warehouse above the Old Gate of Galle Fort. The museum displays a variety of exhibits connected to maritime trade, fishing and sea-life including relics from 20-odd maritime archaeological sites around Galle.

Maritime Archology Museum in Galle, Sri Lanka
artifacts at Maritime Archology Museum in Galle, Sri Lanka
ancient artifacts from Sri Lanka
Galle National Museum
an ancient anchor from Indian Ocean

The oldest remaining Dutch building in the Galle Fort, built in 1656; houses the National museum with its limited collection of exhibits from Portuguese, Dutch and British periods.

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