The Galle Fort comprises 14 bastions which are described below

It is recorded that by about 1620 this defence bastion was very strongly built by the Portuguese. It was named by them as Sao Iago.

On 4 th August 1667 it was renamed by the Dutch as the Zon (Sun) Bastion. On this occasion the first canon shots fired as a guard of honour from this bastion was in honour of the fiancé of the Dutch Governor Hester D. Solomin Razikloff Van Govassas.

In 1697 the base of the bastion was further strengthened. By about 1760, there were about 15 canons installed on this bastion.

The Portuguese had named this bastion as Conceycao, which meant "the pure conception." The Dutch originally identified as the Middle Point. In 1667 it was officially named as Mark or the Moon Bastion.

By 1760 there were 19 canons installed on this bastion.

This bastion was named by the Portuguese as Sao Antonio (St. Anthony's). The Dutch first named it the Zee Punt (Sea Bastion). In 1667 it was officially named by them as the Star Bastion. After it was renamed, the first canon shot was fired by the daughter of the then Dutch Commander of Galle Adrian Ruthas.

There were about 6 canons installed on this bastion.

The Fortification built by the Portuguese centred round the Black Fort. It is believed that it was so named because this area was constantly covered by the dark smoke emanating from the fire of canons and guns and smithies.

After Galle Fort was conquered by the Dutch on 13 th March 1640, it was named the Zwart Fort (Black Fort). It is believed that there was a secret exit from Galle Fort called Water-Pas in this bastion. It is said to have been built during the period 1725 - 1735. It is not identifiable now.

There is a tunnel underneath this bastion. But it has not been fully excavated yet.

This bastion has been named after the hometown of Commander Wilhelm Jacobs Coster who led the Dutch conquest of Galle Fort.

This is located next to the old Dutch hospital building. There is a belief that it was once used during the Dutch period for postmortem examinations.

It is an excellent vantage point for the observation of the Galle harbor and bay. From the British period onwards, it has been used as the official residence of the Harbour Master. It is believed that there were 7 canons installed here to protect the bay from invading vessels.

Another interesting feature of this bastion is the old breadfruit (Artucarpus incisisus) tree found here which is believed to the first bread fruit tree planted by the Dutch on the island of Sri Lanka.

This bastion is named after the Roman God Aurora. It is believed that it was so named because it is the point in Galle Fort from which one could get the best view of sunrise.

By 1760, 6 canons had been installed here.

It has been named after the hometown of the first clergyman of the Dutch Reformed Church who arrived in Galle in 1641, namely, the Rev.Anhenrio Husaivers.

By 1760, it had 6 canons installed.

After the original lighthouse in Galle Fort was destroyed by fire, the new lighthouse which is 92 feet high was erected here in 1939. Bunkers had been built around the lighthouse during the Second World War. They have been removed sometimes ago.

Near the lighthouse there is a flight of steps leading to the beach where there is a bathing spot. During the British period, it was used as the Ladies Bathing Place.

There is a gunpowder magazine close to this bastion, facing the road.

This bastion is seen on the exploratory map of Galle Fort which was drawn by chief engineer Reimer in 1790.

It is recorded that there was a windmill erected here to draw water which was used to clean the roads in Galle Fort.

During the Dutch period it had been named Neptune 's Bastion. In British period maps it is marked as Neptune Bastion.

Clippen means jutting into the sea and burg means village. It has obviously been named due to its setting. During the British period a naval signal station had been located here called the Lloyd Signal Station owned by the Lloyd Company. There are still remnants of the equipment which was installed here.

In the past it had also been known as Visser's Hoek and Viaggeklip Bastion. According to J.W. Heide, the Dutch flag had been hoisted here by 1733.

In Gems Cordine's book Description of Ceylon, it is stated that in 1796 the British flag was hoisted here.

In 1848 the first lighthouse in the island of Sri Lanka had been constructed here. The light had been powered by kerosene oil and gas. In about 1930 it had been destroyed by fire.

Aeolus means the sea breeze. It is believed that it was so named because the Dutch Naval Commander's official residence was located here and due to the importance of wind for ships.

The Army Camp is presently located here.

This is also found in Reimer's map of Galle Fort (1790). It is believed that it was named Fishmark because fishing craft could be well observed from here.

This is also marked in Reimer's map of Galle Fort (1790).

It is believed that was named due to its close proximity to the Dutch Commander's official residence.


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Last Update: 12-06-2018.