The Dutch Reformed Church Galle

The Dutch Reformed Church Galle

Galle Fort, which dates back to 1505 is one of the best places to witness Sri Lankan colonial splendour belong mainly to Dutch era. The Fort was founded by Portuguese administrators in 1505, it was expanded to the present magnitude size by the Dutch colonial rules in 16s. This historical gem is a hot tourist site on south coast Sri Lankan and many travellers head on to Galle in order to see this UNESCO world heritage site. Galle Fort is an important tourist place included in most Sri Lanka trips such as 5 Days Sri Lank southern tour, Sri Lanka 7 days trip.

Every local traveller visits the Galle fort. Even you are a foreign traveller and have limited time for Sri Lanka sightseeing, I think you are going to visit it if time permits because it is the most popular iconic tourist attraction in the south. It is also very convenient to visit from any part of the island, especially from Colombo and west coast beach resorts. Seerendipity tours organize daily trips to Galle and southern Sri Lanka from Colombo. You can also book Sri Lanka 2 days trip to Galle with Yala safari.

There are many interesting places to within the border of Dutch Fort such as museums, galleries, churches, temple etc. The Dutch reformed church is taking an important place among the tourist places in Galle Fort. Sitting near the southern border of Galle Fort, it is one of the oldest churches on the island.

The church was built in 1755 with gables on the eastern and western walls, but it was not equipped with a tower. Two similar kinds of churches were also built by Dutch administration in cochin and Nagapatnam. Dutch reformed church was built at a site, where Portuguese had built a convent during their administration on the island.

The Dutch had removed convent and built the Dutch reformed church, Galle, at the same spot. The church is surrounded by a graveyard. Even inside the church, there are many dozens of tombs (without stones), these tombs are closed with Irion plates, these Irion plates are placed parallel to the ground surface. The iron plates are engraved with old Dutch letters, depicting the information about the diseased such as name, address, occupation and his or her social status and other noteworthy information.  

The tombs located inside the church was allocated for eminent personages in Dutch times. E.g. one such chamber inside the church is dedicated to Gerard Hulft, who had been a commander during the Dutch rule in Sri Lanka and he was killed during the siege in Colombo. An ancient record saying that “the body of General Hulft was received in Galle three days after his untimely death …. and placed within a masonry catalogue in De Groot Kerk for one year. Thereafter, it was lowered into a grave on the right of the pulpit within the Church — the General’s arms and spurs being hung on the wall, over the grave. The following year, 1658, the Dutch conquest of coastal Ceylon being complete, the body of Hulft was removed to the State Dutch Church, within the Colombo Fort, where it was placed in a tomb”.

Some of the burial chambers are already collapsed, while some other burial chambers in the garden are still in good shape. The burial chambers in the garden are accompanied by gravestones, which are giving valuable information about the person resting inside.  

All the tombs are belonging to Dutch national and there are nor tombs to be found, which are allocated to other nationals. Visiting Dutch Fort is in the bucket list of most travellers, who venture on a southern Sri Lankan trip. This iconic tourist attraction rest in the city of Galle. The best way of visiting Dutch fort is to take a 1-day Galle tour if you are based in Colombo or travellers can even take a 1-day trip to Galle from Bentota and other west coast beach resorts.

If you based in Colombo or any other west coast beach resort, you are within easy reach of Galle. Sri Lanka one day trip to Galle from Colombo and west coast beaches usually Includes Galle Fort, Madu river safari, Sea turtle conservation, Mask museums, Hikkaduwa beach and few other tourist places.

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