Close your eyes and smell the tar, hear the noise, and feel the excitement of the arrival of another VOC galleon in the harbor of Galle, just outside the Fort’s old gate entrance. It’s 1698 and the ship has just arrived after a many months’ long voyage from the Netherlands.
As soon as you have passed through one of the two gates into the Galle Fort, you have entered a fortified miniature community which is not only unique for Sri Lanka but for all Asia. It is a blend of cultures, historic buildings, narrow streets, the oldest post office and the oldest library of Sri Lanka, tuk tuks, boutiques, places of worship, restaurants, hotels and galleries; all within an area of approximately one square kilometer. Its population is just as colourful as its architecture. Muslims, who have lived here for ages have mixed in good harmony with the increasing expat population. Busloads full of noisy school kids from all over the country enter the Fort daily to have an experience of practical history. In fact it is a small community where history is still being made, and…….in an accelerating speed. Galle Fort is not a ‘dead’ piece of history, but a living monument, creating its own unique historic future.