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Ancient Churches at the Galle Fort

While the rendezvous of Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial powers on the shores of Sri Lanka has left many significant social, cultural and economic consequences nothing can be compared to the religious following the faith of the colonials made in the island. In fact, the ancient Dutch Fort in Galle is an ideal location to observe the rise and fall of various branches of Christianity with the arrival and exit of each colonial power.

Groote Kerk. Galle or the Dutch Reformed Church

Quick Information:

  • Open hours: 08. 30 Am to 4.30 Pm Daily –except on public and Poya holidays
  • Location: Queen Street, Galle Fort, Galle.  80000, Sri Lanka
  • Call: 0912 245 254
  • Entrance Fee: Adult- LKR 300. Child – LKR 150
  • Suitable for: Adults and Children

Built in the year of 1755 Groote Kerk or the Dutch Reformed Church at Dutch Fort in Galle Sri Lanka is one of the oldest functioning Protestant churches in Sri Lanka and was built on the highest point in the Galle Fort.

Although the foundation of the church was initially laid in the year 1682 further work only took off the ground when Commandeur of Galle or Dutch Governor, Casparus de Jong and his wife Geertruyda Adriana Le Grand made a considerable contribution in celebration of their baby daughter.

Since then this ancient church built under the Doric Architectural Style had undergone various improvements and updates yet the cruciform shaped church had stayed true to its primary form and structure. The church has a detached belfry, stained glass windows and wooden pulpits, characteristic of period Dutch architecture.

Groote Kerk is situated just a four-minute walk away from Galley 52 and a 13-minute drive from the Galle town.

All Saints’ Church, Galle

Quick Information:

  • Open hours: 7.00 am to 6.00 pm every day
  • Location: Church Street, Galle Fort, Galle. 80000, Sri Lanka
  • Call: +94912246064
  • Entrance Fee: Free. Donations Accepted.

Built in the later stage of the 19th century, All Saint’s Church at the Galle Fort is its first Anglican Church. The construction of the church was initiated on October 30, 1868, by the second Bishop of Colombo to serve as a place of worship for the Anglican congregation in Galle, and almost three years and 1600 British Pounds later the church was consecrated on February 21, 1871.

Designed by J.G. Smithers, then government architect, who later designed the National Museum of Colombo, the church was built on Basilica Plan under the Neo-Gothic architectural influence; with deviations made to suit the local climate. Nevertheless, the church features heavily carved pews and sanctuary.

A prominent celebration of colonial British influence on Sri Lankan landscape, All Saints’ Church is just 2 minutes away from Galley52 and 13-minute drive (3.7 km) from the Galle town.

St. Joseph’s Chapel, Lighthouse Street, Galle

Quick Information:

  • Open hours: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm (Closed on Saturday)
  • Location: 48, Lighthouse Street, Galle, 80000, Sri Lanka
  • Entrance Fee: Free. Donations Accepted

A quaint little chapel with a 125-year history, St. Joseph’s Chapel at the Galle Fort was a remnant of the Roman Catholic faith propagated by the Portuguese. Revived and reconstructed by the Dutch, the chapel reflects the late Dutch architectural style found common in Sri Lanka.

Ideal for quiet reflections and silent afternoons within, St. Joseph’s Chapel is found a seven-minute walk away from Galley52.