Since pre Christian era , Natural port of Galle was famous for trading purposes and frequented by traders from both east and west. It was regarded as a safe harbor and a place for international trade but not as a big city. Galle as mentioned as “Ceteum Proment” in the first ever world map by Ptolemy, the famous geographer in the first century AD.

Greeks and Arabic writers mention that Galle port was situated in the centre of the sea route to East and West in 4th and 5th Century AD. In the 10th Century AD Galle was famous for ivory and gem trade. Ibn Battuta explains the importance of Galle and Adams Peak.

With the arrival of Portuguese in 1505 in the country they captured the Galle. In 1589 Portuguese viceroy ordered built a fort in 1589. They built the fort seeking protection from the land side including three bastions.

The Dutch captured the Galle in 1640 after a furious battle against the Portuguese. They fortified and enlarged seeking protection from the landside and as well as seaside. Galle port as fully fledged administration and trade centre and made it the main city in Galle Disawe. It is said Galle port was only second to Batavia in Indonesia, which was the centre of Dutch Administration in the east.

In 1796 Galle fort handed over to the British. British called in point de Galle. It remained as the centre of international trade until Colombo harbor was developed during the late 19th century.

Now inside the Galle fort

  • Several Museums
  • A Clock tower
  • Light House
  • Buddhist Temples, Churches, Mosque
  • Educational institutes
  • Schools
  • Court
  • Dutch Hospital
  • Several shops

There are over 400 dwelling places in which 100 buildings built before 1850.