Morning on the Ramparts #3
The 17th century Galle Fort, built by the Dutch on the site of the older Portuguese fort of Santa Cruz. The latter was basically three bastions sited across the neck of the Galle peninsula, connected by a wooden palisade. When the Dutch captured Santa Cruz in 1640, they demolished the Portuguese bastions and walls and reconstructed the fort in stone, complete with a moat on the landward side, overlooked by the three largest bastions of the fort — the Sun, Moon, and Star bastions. The British took possession of the Galle Fort in 1796 and, in less than a century had, subjugated all of the island of Ceylon. With the removal of any real threat to the fort from the landward side, the British filled in the moat in 1873 and opened the New Gate between the Sun and Moon bastions to allow traffic between the growing new town outside the walls and the 17th century town within, supplementing the original Dutch-built gate near the harbour which then became fittingly known as the Harbour Gate. The entire fort and the town inside is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the best existing example of a fortified European town in Asia. For more on the Galle Fort, including pictures, see my cover story, Climbing the Walls, in the January 2016 issue of Serendib, the inflight magazine of SriLankan Airlines.
The photograph was shot facing west from the Sun Bastion, clearly showing the massive Moon Bastion — the fort’s largest — with the Anthonisz Clock Tower — built in 1885 — on it. Directly below the tower is the New Gate, and to the right is the Galle International Stadium. The fort’s ramparts are a favourite spot from which to watch cricket matches. Sri Lanka, September 2016.