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Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 16th century
Date of Inscription: 1988
Location: Asia, Sri Lanka, City of Galle, Southern Province
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Description: Galle, founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century, reached the pinnacle of its development in the 18th century, prior to the British arrival. Exhibiting the interaction of European architectural styles with the traditions of South Asia, it is the best example of a European-built fortified city within South and South-East Asia. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
  Galle is a town situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km from Colombo. Galle was known as Gimhathiththa (although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali) before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, before the arrival of the British, who developed the harbor at Colombo. Galle lies in Galle District. On 26 December 2004 the city was devastated by the massive Boxing Day Tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that occurred a thousand miles away, off the coast of Indonesia. Thousands were killed in the city alone. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in south and southeast Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and south Asian traditions. Galle fort is a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Other prominent landmarks in Galle include St. Mary's Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests and one of the main Shiva temples on the island. Galle is the main town in the most southerly part of the island, with a population of around 100,000, and is connected by rail to Colombo and Matara. It is home to a cricket ground, the Galle International Stadium, where test matches are played. Rumassala Kanda is a large mound-like hill, which forms the eastern protective barrier to the Galle harbour. Local tradition associates this hill with some events of the Ramayana. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
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Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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