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Galle is 116 km from Colombo by road and rail down the south-west coast. The route is picturesque and follows the coastline nearly all the way. The Portuguese took Galle from the Sinhala Kings in 1587 and erected a fortification consisting of a wall and moat. The Dutch defeated the Portuguese after server fighting captured Galle in 1640 and established a formidable line if defense. The atmosphere of the Portuguese, Dutch and British past is retained in the township of Galle. Some antiquities that merit a visit are the Dutch Church in the Fort with its orthodox pulpit and exquisite carvings; Queen’s house just opposite the church, and the old main gate to the Fort. In contrast to the Portuguese and Dutch, British relics are many and are maintained to this day.

Nothing bespeaks Galle’s prosperity in British times as the magnificent mansions with names like Closenberg, Eddystone, Barthfield, Armitage Hill or Nooit Gedacht. Drivers worth taking from Galle are the excellent sea bathing spot at watering Point, and an excellent view of the city from a peak of this drive. Unawatuna bay which is protected by a reef provides safe sea-bathing and snorkeling. Rhumassala Kanda is associated with a legend of the traditional Ramayanaya story. The souvenirs of Galle are truly exciting. Handmade Brussels-like lace: jewellery that entices the female of the species: semi-precious and precious white and coloured gemstones like lace: jewellery that entices the female of the species; semi-precious and precious white and coloured gemstones like moonstones, blue sapphires and rubies that can be beautifully set to the whims or whishes of the buyers. Galle is now proclaimed an Archaeological Reserve and identified as a World Heritage Site.

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