Welcome to Galle – an European City in Sri Lanka!

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Galle was the second city we visited in Sri Lanka, following a couple of days in the capital Colombo. We didn’t especially like Colombo, and were anxious about the possibility that that all urban communities of Sri Lanka would be as boisterous and grimy, yet fortunately not!

The little city Galle is extremely flawless and serene, brimming with shading and surface. We completely went gaga for Galle! The city comprises of another part and an old part. We didn’t invest much energy in the new part, so this blog entry will be about the old city.

The old piece of Galle, Galle Fort, is as its name infers encompassed by a major city divider. The city was worked by the Dutch, start in 1663, and even today it is a stunning accumulation of structures going back as the centuries progressed.

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Despite the fact that Galle Fort is old and lovely on the exterior, it is as yet a working network, with authoritative workplaces, courts, bistros, organizations, shops, eateries, inns, etc. The city houses specialists, scholars, picture takers, planners and artists, and 33% of the around 400 houses are claimed by nonnatives


The city resembles no other city in Sri Lanka, and meandering around through the limited boulevards makes you even overlook that you are in Sri Lanka. It really has a craving for strolling the avenues of a medieval city in Europe! Extremely abnormal as it were.

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The Europeans have been here a long time, the first ones were the Portuguese as early as 1505 when one of their fleets bound for the Maldives was blown off course and ended up in the harbour of Galle. It was apparently they who gave the city its name, after hearing a cock (galo in Portuguese) crowing. If that is true or not, no one knows. Another theory is that the name Gale derives from the Sinhala word gala (meaning rock), which is probably more likely thinking about it :).

It was also the Portuguese who first built the Fort, in small scale, for protection against the kingdom of Sri Lanka. However, it was the Dutch that really made Galle into the size it is today and made it the main port for Sri Lanka for more than 200  years, welcoming a lot of ships traveling from between Europe and Asia. Today Colombo is the main port.

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Inside the Galle Fort there is likewise holy places, mosques and sanctuaries – an image on what number of religions living gently one next to the other in Sri Lanka.