Galle Fort Lighthouse
Galle Lighthouse also is known as Pointe De Galle Light is Sri Lanka’s oldest light station. Established in 1848 as the first onshore lighthouse in Galle, Sri Lanka, the original 80 feet structure was destroyed by a fire and the existing second structure was built in 1939, just 100 meters away from where its predecessor stood.
Standing at 26.5 meters tall the first lighthouse light was furnished with a glass prism lens supported on friction reducing Mercury bath. The bath of mercury had two purposes; one was to keep the lamp at a perfect level and the other was to make the rotation of the lamp smooth and frictionless.
Like many lighthouse keepers of the old days, around the world, the lighthouse keepers at the Galle Fort lighthouse must also have been exposed to high levels of highly toxic Mercury on a daily basis. Particularly when they had to remove impurities from the top of the bath and periodically cleaning the liquid metal by passing it through chamois leather.
Fortunately, the lighthouse light at Galle Fort has long been automated, and the keeper only makes the 87 feet climb for maintenance and to keep an eye on the ships entering the Galle Harbour from its high point in Point Utrecht Bastion.
The Galle lighthouse is situated just a four-minute walk away from Galley 52 and nearly 4 km away from the Galle city centre.