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.