DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH OF GALLE – ICON OF SRI LANKA’S DUTCH HERITAGE

Galle, Sri Lanka’s southern capital is a major destination and the city’s rich Dutch heritage is a major attraction .Accommodation in Galle ranges from budget to star rated and most villas in Galle provide comfortable accommodation. Several are historic colonial bungalows or traditional mansions. If you are seeking modern comfort and old world ambience then Era Beach by Jetwing at Talpe, Galle would suit you.

The Dutch Heritage of Galle is seen in its architecture, artefacts, etc., Two of the most iconic symbols of this unique heritage are the restored Dutch Fort and the Dutch Reformed Church within it. Known also as the ‘De Groote Kerk’, it is supposed to be the third church built by the Dutch in Galle. The foundation was laid in 1862 and the ‘De Groote Kerk’ was completed in 1755.It is said that the Dutch Governor of Galle, Casparus de Jong and his wife donated money to complete the church as a thanksgiving offering after the birth of their daughter and that the baby’s baptism was not held till the church was completed. The body of Dutch Commander, Gerard Hulft was also originally buried here.

The church is built at the highest point in the Galle Fort and is 39 feet above sea level. It is like a cruciform but with short transepts. It has two large Dutch Gables at the north and south and unique double scroll molding. The high ceilinged roof was made of iron wood and was originally painted in blue with gold stars. The hexagonal pulpit is made of Malaysian calamander paneling mixed with local satin wood. The floors honeycomb paving and there are gravestones within the church. Timber doors and a beautiful stained glass window are other features of this iconic church. The garden has grave stones and there are two underground vaults supposed to be burial chambers. A tunnel is supposed to run from the Church to the Dutch Governor’s residence.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world.

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Visit to Galle Lighthouse – The Legendary Galle Lighthouse

The iconic coastal city of Galle, located at the south-west of Sri Lanka contains tremendous beauty as much as historical heritage. The remarkable port has been in operation ever since the days of Ptolemy and some would even say that the biblical King Solomon himself traded goods with the ancient inhabitants of Galle. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Galle Lighthouse has been deemed an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Modern day Galle is just as bustling as it would have been during the ancient times, with plenty of international visitors patronising the various hotels and villas in Galle such as the likes of Era Beach by Jetwing.

The lighthouse in particular receives plenty of attention since there are only a total of fourteen lighthouses in existence in Sri Lanka; this is a small number given that Sri Lanka is an island with a notable maritime history.

Before the lighthouse was constructed, the Galle fort was initially built by the Portuguese sometime in the 1500s. Following the invasion of the British, the lighthouse was then built at the fort in 1848. It stood around eighty-feet high and remained for almost a century before being destroyed in 1934 due to a mysterious fire that consumed it.

The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1939, and the new one stands stand seven feet higher than the earlier one. As much as the lighthouse’s duty was to guide approaching ships to the harbour, it was also very strategically placed so any approaching ship can be examined from within the lighthouse.

If you ever find yourself in Galle, be sure to visit this historic monument.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+