The Fort of Galle: Images Past and Present


Identified as “Old Dutch Fortification, Point De Galle,” this image a has been kindly supplied by the National Library of Australia. It is a late 19th century picture — before the new entrance was punched through the frontal ramparts and before a clock tower was built to honour Dr Anthonisz.

Whately’s water-colour painting (12.9 x 17.7 cm) of Point de Galle, dated 31 July 1874 has also been provided by the National Library of Australia.

 Skyline of roofs across the Fort. This picture  (19.45 x 23 .3 cm) is from the Ferguson Collection at the National Gallery of Australia to whom I am indebted [when they sent it for reproduction in Galle as Quiet As Asleep by my sister Norah Roberts)

Fishermen in the 1930s with the old lighthouse [which burnt down in the mid-1930s] in the distance

Classic images of fishermen who plied their trade along the rocky shoreline of the Fort on the western and southern sides —  taken by Lincoln Pereira in the 1930s capturing dimensions now lost

PHOTOGRAPHS taken by Michael Roberts in 2006 and subsequently over recent years

The courts arena and plaza at the northeastern area of the Fort

Two images of the rolling slpes and stones that were a teenager’s dream folr hide and seek and other pastimes in my teenage days

The southern walls with the new  lighthouse in one corner — a barrier that withstood the tsunami of 26th December 2004 and saved the residents in the Fort [though one or two [unmanned?]  fishing boats made it over the wall

 Image taken from the Dungeons block on the north western cofner looking over the “Boy’s Bathing Place” –on eof my teenage haunts

  the eastern bathing beach beside the lighthouse with a sweeping view of the bay

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA two tourists relax above the beach on the eastern face … (pic from 2018)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe new lighthouse as twilight looms (2018)

 two views of the southern wall looking west from near the new lighthouse — with the mosque captured in one shot

a lone fisherman?

Elephant Rock as one approaches the south-western bastion [where the old lighthouse stood] and which is now the platform for some pinpoint diving into a small seaside pool by an intrepid Fort-dweller — acts captured so vividly by that camera artist Juliet Coombe, herself a Fort-dweller

  a view of the Girl’s Bathing Place [front rear] from the old lighthouse bastion on the southwestern corner of the Fort

one aspect of the Fort ramparts

Fishing boats parked on the shores abutting the northeast Fort walls

 The little harbour at low tide in the calm season — the spot where Aloysian lifesavers practiced in my schoolboy days

Lighthouse Street viewed rom the southern walls

Striking images of those Dutch Verandahs of yesteryear

….. and that grand touch the VOC emblem carved above the old entrance to the Fort on the northeastern side

…. with Janaka Gallangoda’s superb picture of the same emblem on the inner side and one of the Fort’s typical residents serving as touchstone for our medley of snapshots

And last but not least  view of the Fort ramparts as a Test Match takes place in its shadow –India vs Sri Lanka … with Pissu Percy in attendanceOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


ALSO SEE ..………Norah Roberts: Galle as Quiet as Asleep, Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications,


Filed under art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, cultural transmission, economic processes, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, patriotism, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, world affairs

3 responses to “The Fort of Galle: Images Past and Present

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