National Maritime Museum Galle
Tucked inside an ancient Dutch Warehouse adjoining the original entrance to the Galle Dutch Fort is a doorway to Sri Lanka’s glorious maritime history and heritage affording a glimpse of Galle’s rich heritage as a centre of sea trade and naval military in the Indian Ocean.
With a history that predates the arrival of colonial powers to Sri Lanka, Galle had been a melting point of cultures and nations and trade centre of luxury goods including gems, ivory and spices. It has been a regular stop of Moor traders eastbound from Western Asia and Africa as well as the celebrated Chinese Admiral Zheng He, who advanced China’s naval advance into the Southern and Western Asia and Eastern Africa.
Moreover, Sri Lanka’s continental shelf is densely scattered with shipwrecks and their remnants from various periods of world history. While much had been lost to the treasure hunters and wreck divers, country’s modern-day archaeologists have rescued some exciting artefacts from the depths of the ocean, which are now housed inside this 17th-century warehouse converted into a museum.
Among its artefacts are the ancient anchors, maps, naval craft, ropes, earthenware, beer mugs, smoking pipes, barrels, artillery guns, and sailor shoes recovered from shipwrecks as old as 800 years. The artefacts also celebrate the rich history of the fishing communities in the southern shores of Sri Lanka by featuring a large collection of fishing equipment and vessels used throughout history.
In addition, the Maritime Archeology Museum also features an extensive flora and fauna collection found in the Southern Seas of Sri Lanka from mangrove habitats to coral reefs and deep-sea habitats including turtles, whales and dolphins that habitat the Indian Ocean around Sri Lanka.
Suitable for adults and children alike the National Maritime Archeology Museum in Galle, Sri Lanka is a disabled access location situated 3.5 km (13 min drive) from Galle Town, 2 hours and 14 min from Colombo through Southern Expressway and is just a four minutes walk from Galley52.