The Dutch Fort

A UNESCO world heritage monument, this walled city bears witness to its past through the near crumbling architecture of grand old buildings, street names, and Dutch churches, still active.

A continuous rampart, built by the Dutch from mid 17th century onwards and added to by the British, encircles the city, interrupted by 14 massive bastions. The best way to see the fort is to walk the length of the walls (90 minutes), and the best time to do it is during the evenings. Start at the most impressive section, where the Star, Moon and Sun bastions glower forbiddingly over the neck of the peninsula. The Galle fort is surrounded by imposing bastions and thick ramparts.

The circuit of the walls continues via the Akersloot and Aurora bastions to the Point Utrecht bastion, topped by a modern lighthouse, then to Flag Rock, the southernmost point of the walls, before looping back north through the Triton, Neptune, Clippenberg and Aeolus bastions.While some of the bastions retain their original Dutch names, the Triton, Aeolus, Neptune and Aurora bastions were renamed by the British in honour of the Royal Navy ships of the line which took part in the British seizure of Sri Lanka from the Dutch during the Napoleonic Wars.