The impressive ramparts of the famous Galle Fort are a stark reminder of the determination to defend and protect this southern sea-entry into Sri Lanka. Waves hit the high walls of the Fort and are a reminder of the ongoing battle between mother nature and man.

The Fort was first built by the Portuguese invaders but was soon taken over by the Dutch, who remodeled and rebuilt much of it. Around Sri Lanka, there are several imposing forts built by the same forces, but Galle Fort is in the best of the condition, and actually is known as a living fort, due to the population living within its walls.

In 1802 the Treaty of Amiens formally ceded the Dutch part of Sri Lanka to the British and it became a crown colony. Over the next decades, they strengthened the defense posts already posted around the shores of the island. Galle Fort is a stunning example of defensive architecture at it’s best.

Within the great ramparts a thriving community lives and works. Many are descendants of the earlier settlers and the eclectic mix of ethnicities is very clear. The buildings range from Dutch churches to mosques, museums to an impressive courthouse, colonial post office, and some wonderfully romantic houses converted into modern hotels and coffee shops.

To walk through the narrow and busy streets of the fort is almost like stepping back in time. Old buildings, ancient gnarled trees and an air of history seep into the very heart and soul of Galle Fort.

For those who thrive on watching adrenalin junkies, if you manage to catch the famous Galle Jumpers, you are in for a treat. There are a few diehards living in the Fort who jump from the walls into the waters below – this is as thrilling as it is terrifying to watch as they throw themselves into midair and dive into the smallest of rock pools below.

Galle also has a Test Ground Cricket Pitch, and international matches are often held here. Serene Pavilions can arrange tickets and transport wherever possible, for cricket enthusiasts to watch what is undoubtedly Sri Lanka’s favourite pastime.