(Source: The Island)
A Historic tour through the city of Galle
On 26 March, 1999, the official inauguration of the "Galle Public Awareness Programme will take place. The inauguration will be by the Netherlands Ambassador Mr. Hein Princen. The awareness programme consists of a permanent exhibition at the National Maritime Museum of Galle and a historic tour through the Galle Fort, with story boards attached to the main mounments in the Fort, where Tourist Board guides have been trained for the tour and the exhibition.
This programme is sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Embassy and further made possible by the Department of Archaeology, the Department of Museums, the Ceylon Tourist Board, the Amsterdam Historical Museum and the Netherlands Department of Conservation.
The exhibition at the Maritime Museum will be open to the public from 28 March, 1999.
1. SUN BASTION
In 1620 the Portuguese completed a stone defense work at the landside, securing Punto Gale (Point of Galle) from the north. This bastion was called Sao Iago (Saint James). By 1625 three bastions were completed. On 4 August 1667 Sao Iago was renamed by the Dutch into ‘Zon’ (Sun). Hester de Solemne, the wife-to-be of Governor Rijckloff van Goens had the honour to fire the cannon at this occasion. The Dutch reinforced the fortifications, as is seen at the gate to the fausse-bray (lower breastwork), dating 1697. In 1760 the bastion was mounted with fifteen cannons.
2. MOON BASTION
Named Conceycao (Immaculate Conception) by the Portuguese. Called ‘Middelpunt’ (Middle Bastion) by the Dutch. Officially baptized in 1667 as ‘Mean’ (Moon). Most artillerymen in the service of the VOC were Germans. In 1760 they operated nineteen cannons.
Also called ‘Kat’ (cat), elevated defense work to secure Moon Bastion. Five cannons served this purpose in 1760. For all 109 cannons at the bastions the Dutch East India Company (VOC) had nineteen specialist artillerymen under contract. In 1760 these were assisted by some of the other 263 military personnel.
4. STAR BASTION
Named Sao Antonio (Saint Anthony) by the Portuguese. The Dutch called it ‘Zeepunt’ (Sea Bastion). Of facially named ‘Ster’ (Star) in 1667. At this occasion the cannon was fired by a daughter of Commander Adriaan Roothaas.. His wife baptized Moon Bastion. In 1760 the bastion was mounted with six cannons.
5. MAIN GATE
In cat 1620 the Portuguese replaced their earthen and palisade defense works with stone walls. Not far from the present Main Gate they had their ‘Porte da Muro’’ (Wall Gate). Further to the west was the ‘Porte da Traisao’ (Treason Gate). Both gates were closed by the Dutch. In 1873 the City Gate was made between the Sun and Moon Bastions, to unburden the old Dutch gate.
6. OLD FORT GATE
The stone outside shows the text ANNO MDCLXIX,, which means that the gate was completed in 1669. Above the date are two lions, holding the VOC emblem, crowned by a cock. The gate and the adjacent Great Warehouse were built around the same time and replaced a section of the old walls. When the English took over in 1795 they removed the date-stone and coat of arms from the inside and replaced it with the own arms.
7. BLACK FORT
A ‘Fortalezza’ called Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) was built by the Portuguese in 1625 when they improved the 1620 fortifications at the land side. After having taken Galle on 13 March 1640, the Dutch renamed it into ‘Zwartc Fort’ (Black Fort). It also housed the prison, the smithy and the arsenal. Part of the garrison was lodged here. Five cannons were directing towards the Bay.
8. WATER PASS
The lower defense works or Water Pass date from the Dutch Period, possibly between 1725-1735. From here twelve cannons controlled the Bay of Galle, especially safeguarding the Jetty and the landroad to the Old Fort Gate.
9. AKERSLOOT BASTION
This Bastion appears in a drawing of 1659. The name Willem Jacobsz. Coster, who took Galle from the Portuguese on 13 March 1640. Coster was born in Akersloot, The Netherlands. At the entrance in Hospital Street a stone shows the date 1759. Then the entrance was reconstructed*. Seven cannons controlled the Bay of Galle.
10. UTRECHT BASTION
This corner-point was called in 1725 ‘Halve Maantje’ (Half Moon). The military garrison of Galle was divided over the landside bastions, Star, Moon and Sun, and over Black Fort and Utrecht Bastion. In 1760 under the Captain and the Lieutenant served 3 ensigns, l 3 sergeants, 20 corporals, l trumpeter, 4 drummers and ca. 220 soldiers. Location of fifteen cannons.
11. KLIPPENBURG BASTION
Constructed early 18th Century. Called in 1725 ‘Nieuw Werk’ (New Works). Being just a corner in the wall it was not an actual bastion.. Nevertheless maintenance here and elsewhere was costly, because of the heavy seas.
12. AEOLUS BASTION
Called cat l 725 ‘Nieuwe Punt’ (New Point), cat 1735 also ‘Halve Bolwerk’ (Half Bastion). The Portuguese had no defense works at all at this side of Galle Fort. Five cannons were situated here in 1760.
13. TRITON BASTION
Constructed during the reign of the tyrannical Governor Petrus Vuyst (1726-1729), who was sentenced to death in Batavia (Jakarta).
14. NEPTUNE BASTION
Constructed during the reign of the tyrannic Governor Petrus Vuyst (1726- 1729). This Hall Bastion, as it was also ealled in 1735, had eight cannons.
15. AURORA BASTION
The Portuguese names of bastions or gates referred to the Bible or their Roman Catholic Religion (like the present Black Bastion, called Santa Cruz = Holy Cross). The Duteh secularized these names, using classical names (Aurora = Roman Goddess of the gold/red morning-sky) or honouring Dutch places (Utrecht, name of a city and province). Aurora was mounted with six cannons.
16. ROCKY BASTION
In the Dutch Period named Flagg Rock. Here was the Flag-staff and Signal Station. The flag-man communicated with incoming ships who asked for a pilot. The use of a pilot was prescribed, because of the many hidden rocks in the bay. In bad weather cannon shots were used instead of the signal flag. Here, in 1848, the English built the first modern lighthouse of Sri Lanka. This burnt down in 1934.
17. TRADE OFFICE & PERSONEL DEPARTMENT
The ‘‘Negotie-kantoor’’ (Trade Office) was responsible for all mercantile affairs, stores included. In 1760 eighteen bookkeepers and clerks were working here. In the Personnel Department nine bookkeepers and clerks administrated all the personnel. Copies were sent to The Netherlands. These records have been kept.
18. RESIDENCE OF THE COMMANDER
The ‘‘Commandeur’ was the head of the Galle Commandment (between the Bentotte and Waluwa rivers). Another Commander was residing in Jaffna.. On top of the VOC-hierarchy stood the Governor in Colombo. The Dutch settlements in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) got newly made coat of arms - Galle; a cock standing on a rock. It is a heraldic pun, the one Sinhala word ‘gala meaning cock. This however looked close to the Roman ‘gal lus’ (= cock). The house, erected in 1683 had once a balcony to review the changing of the guard
19. GREAT WAREHOUSE
Around 1669 the walls made space for the new Warehouse and Gate. Inside the Gate two doors to the storerooms bear the year 1671 The building, completed ca. 1676, housed the strong-room and several stores Downstairs, at the left side of the building, sappan wood, cowries and provisions were stored. Ships’ equipment, salt and pepper at the other side. Upstairs cloth from South India and Ceylonese cinnamon was kept dry and safe.
The Meera Mosque was completed in 1904. In the Portuguese Period no Mosque was permitted in Galle. In the Dutch Period the Moslims of Galle built their Mosque at this very place. The Moslim community of Galle had cat I 5() members of EL total of I 1,850 in 1760
21. BUDDHIST TEMPLE
Built in 1889 on the old site of~ an Portuguese Roman-Catholic church, which in the 17th Century had been pulled down by the Dutch.
22. DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH
Commander Casparus de Jong initiated in 1752 the building of this church. Earlier, in 1682, foundations were laid, then work stagnated. In 1755 the church was dedicated In 1760 a second-hand organ from Colombo was installed. The ca. 188 members had their own church-chairs, carried by their slaves.
23. ANGLICAN CHURCH
The All Saints was established in 1871 Earlier the Court House had its premises here. The gallows might have been situated where the present altar now stands.
24. CLOCK TOWER
The tower dates from 1707 The bell has been cast in 1709 Possibly a wooden belfry was situated here before. The bell was rung every hour and on Sundays the service in the Dutch Reformed Church was announced. The clock tower was depicted in 1736 by J. W. Heyd,, a German surveyor in the service of the VOC..
Completed in 1940. The lantern is 92 feet above low-water level.. Replaced the older one located at tile end of Lighthouse Street,. built in 1848 and burnt down in 1936
26. PEDLAR STREET
In the Dutch Period named ‘Moorse Kramerstraat’ (Morish Pedlar street) after- the profession of the small Moslim retailers. Together with the Chetties,, the Moslims had strong influence on the local trade.
27. LIGHTHOUSE STREET
In the Dutch Period called ‘‘Zeeburgstraat’ ‘Middelpuntstraat’. Named after the Old Lighthouse (burnt down in 1936), at the spot of tile old Flag-Staff. In 1940 a new lighthouse was built at Utreeth Bastion. The street-name was kept unchanged.
28. HOSPITAL STREET
In the Dutch Period named ‘Nicuwe Lijnbaanstraat’ (New Ropewalk Street). Location of the rope-walk (Lijnbaan).) At the premises of the Katcheri,. the Dutch Hospital, the house of the Surgeon and the Medical Garden were located.
In the Dutch Period named ‘Oude Lijnbaanstraat’ (Old Rope-Walk Street). In the rope-walk coir rope was made for local use; for the use by small vessels and fishermen, and others.
In the Dutch Period named ‘Kerkstraat’ after a church which was pulled down i in the 1 7th Century. Dutch Reformed services were then held in the great Warehouse, at the most western part of the first floor.
31. PARRAWA STREET
In the Dutch Period named ‘Parruasstraat’. Called after the Parawa, fishermen and traders who had immigrated from South India. They formed a small minority in Galle.
32. CHIANDO STREET
In the Dutch Period named ‘Chiandostraat’. Called after the Toddy tappers. Many Dutch Burghers owned coconutgardens small ark distilleries.
33. LAW COURTS
In the Dutch Period the Rice Stores and the Carpenters Workshop were located here.
THE 1841 INHABITANTS OF GALLE FORT in 1760
395 European Company servants
123 Eurasian Company servants
112 Indigenous Company servants
6 Pensioned off Company Servants
96 Company Slaves, women and children included
66 Free Burghers (men & boys)
94 Moslems (men & boys)
16 Slaves of Moslems
97 Chetties (men & boys)
26 Slaves of Chetties
255 (ca.) Slaves of Europeans and Eurasians
515 Family members of all categories, Slaves excluded
40 Prisoners from the Galle Commandment