Category: Forts

Portuguese Black Fort of Galle – අතීතයේ සැඟවුනු ගාල්ල කළු කොටුව (ස්වාට් බලකොටුව)

The Black Fort of Galle, Sri Lanka also called Santa Cruz or Zwart Fort (Zwart Bastian)

The Black Fort is the most ancient part of the Galle Fort which was built by the Portuguese. This fort was built in 1588 and was called “Santa Cruz”. After Galle was coneded to Dutch it was known as the “Black Fort” , ” Zwart Fort” or the “Zwart Bastian”.

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Ruins of the Ancient Kaduruwela Vijithapura Fort – කදුරුවෙල විජිතපුර බලකොටුව නටබුණ්

The paddy fields before excavation, recovered artifacts and todays situation

The ruins of the Kaduruwela Fort belonging the pre christian era was discovered in 1979 and excavated in 2010. Based on the dating this is now believed to be the famed Vijithapura Fort.

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Ratnapura Dutch Fort – රත්නපුර ලන්දේසි බලකොටුව

Pooneryn fort

The Dutch Fort at Ratnapura lies on the area covering the current police station which covers 10 archeological protected buildings in this small hillock.

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Arippu Fort – අරිප්පු බලකොටුව

What remains of the Arippu Fort

Arippu Fort is a small two bastion fort built by the Portuguese just before the causeway at Arippu. This fort was handed over to the Dutch in 1658 after the fall of Mannar. This fort again changed hands to the British.

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Dutch fort at Mullaitivu – මුලතිවු බලකොටුව

Ruins of what is thought to be part of the ancient fort of Mullathivu

The fort at Mullaitivu was built by the Dutch in 1715 was originally a small wooden structure, in 1721 a quadrangular fort of earth-work has been erected. The English had rebuilt it during the British occupation of the island.

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Tangalle fort – තංගල්ල බලකොටුව

Pooneryn fort

The Fort at Tangalle was built by the Dutch overlooking the sea on a slope above the bay. The fort is now converted to a prison and lost most of it original shape.

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Star Fort of Matara – මාතර තාරකා කොටුව

Entrance to the Star Fort Star Fort of Matara

This Star Fort was built to an unique shape of an six pointed star with space for 12 large cannons to cover approaches from all directions. On the arch of the main entrance the year 1765 is embossed (year of construction) along with the VOC emblem and the coat of arms of Governor Van Eck.

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Sitawaka Fort and the Palace of Rajasinghe I – සීතාවක මාලිගාව සහ බලකොටුව

Sitawaka Fort and the Palace of Rajasinghe I

The ruins of the Sitawaka Fort and the palace of King Rajasinghe 1 can be seen by the side of the Avissawella – Panawala road — this being the same route to the Maniyangama Raja Maha Viharaya.

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Dutch Fort of Ruwanwella – රුවන්වැල්ල බලකොටුව

Fort of Ruwanwella

With regard to the Ruwanwella Fort, it is said that the Portuguese, in the 1590s, had a fortified base camp here and the Dutch, in 1665, built a wooden fort here but abandoned it a few years later.

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Ratnapura Portuguese Fort – රත්නපුර පෘතුගීසි බලකොටුව

Ratnapura Portuguese Fort lies on the grounds of the Maha Saman Devalaya which was destroyed by the Portuguese around 1618-20. This fort was destroyed By King Rajasinghe II (1635 – 1687) of Kandyan Kingdom

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Pooneryn Fort – පූනරීන් බලකොටුව

Pooneryn fort

Pooneryn Fort was built in the north portion of the island first by the Portuguese to protect its possessions in Jaffna, it was expanded by the Dutch till in 1770.

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Negombo Fort – මීගමුව බලකොටුව

Negombo Fort

The Portuguese fort that stood where the current Negombo Fort is situated was mostly destroyed by cannon during the Dutch siege in 1644. The Dutch fort was built on its ruins, not on the usual square pattern, but on a pentagonal one, though it had only four bulwarks. The fifth one was never bui

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Menikkadawara Fort of the Portuguese – මැණික්කඩවර බලකොටුව

This original rare old antique engraved print from: “Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indiën” by François Valentyn / Valentijn, published in 1724-1726. l source : lankapura.com

Archeology Department board of the Fort at Menikkadawara, stood on the side of the road, but hardly was there any other indication of an ancient site.A few shops and a sub post office made a very tiny bazaar.

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Matara Fort – මාතර බලකොටුව

Matara Fort

The old town of Matara is located on a land tongue between the ocean and a green lagoon, and is protected on the landside by Matara Fort, a 13 meter thick, 5 meter high rampart. On all other sides it is unprotected apart from the natural barrier of the water.

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Martello Tower at Hambantota

Martello Tower at Hambantota

Though the Martello Tower at Hambantota is not spread in a large area, it could also be considered as a defense watchtower. Generally believed to be a Dutch fortification, but actually built by Capt. Goper of the Army Engineers during the British Period.

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Mannar Fort – මන්නාරම් බලකොටුව

Mannar Fort

Built on the island of Mannar in Sri Lanka by the Portuguese in 1560, Mannar Fort surrendered to the Dutch on 22 February 1658 and was rebuilt by the Dutch in 1696. On 5 October 1795 the Dutch surrendered to the British.

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Malwana Fort – මල්වාන බලකොටුව

Phuru Ela

The Malwana Fort was of defense importance placed on the right bank of Kelani Ganga, a river which leads to Sitawaka. Malwana was first selected as the adobe of the Portuguese Captain General Azevedo in 1590s who had his headquarters there.

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Koddiyar Fort – කොඩ්ඩියාර් බලකොටුව

Remains of the ancient fort

Koddiyar Fort was a partly built fort by the Dutch t in 1622 with the permission from the King Senarat of Kandy but the Portuguese who were in control of Trincomalee destroyed this partly built fort.

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Kayts Island Fort – කයිට්ස් දූපත් බලකොටුව

Remains of the ancient fort

Kayts Island Fort – Kayts is the largest island in the Jaffna Peninsula. The Portuguese fort in the island has been built with four circular bastions around 1629, with a shape of a horseshoe.

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Katuwana Dutch Fort – කටුවන බලකොටුව

Katuwana Fort

Katuwana Fort is a internal fort built by invading forces to counter attacks from Kandy in the Katuwana divisional secretary of Hambantota District. It was built in 1645 A.D by the Dutch.

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Kalutara Fort – කලුතර බලකොටුව

Fort of Kalutara

Kalutara Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1622 after completely demolishing the Buddhist Temple called Gangathilaka Viharaya. Later this fort was captured by King Mayadunne of the Sitawaka kingdom.

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Dutch Fort of Kalpitiya – කල්පිටිය බලකොටුව

The Dutch Fort of Kalpitiya

At the extreme tip of the Kalpitiya is the Kalpitiya Fort, built in 1667, on the spot where the Portuguese had a stockade and a Jesuit chapel. The fort is is now a Sri Lankan Navy base.

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Jaffna Fort – යාපනය බලකොටුව

Jaffna Fort - The Entrance to the Fort

Situated on the south side of the Jaffna peninsula at the water’s edge of the lagoon, the ancient Jaffna Fort is the second largest existing fort in the Island. Originally built by the Portuguese in 1619 and re-built and expanded by the Dutch during the second half of the 17th and the 18th centuries.

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Hanwella Fort – හංවැල්ල බලකොටුව

Remains at the Rest House

Hanwella Fort – In 1521 when King Mayadunne (1521 – 1581 A. D.) started the Sitawaka Kingdom at Avissawella and built the first fort at Hanwella to guard against the Kingdom of Kotte.

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Fort Ostenburg at Trincomalee – ඔස්ටන්බර්ග් බලකොටුව

A Diagram of Fort Ostenburg in Trincomalee from "Illustrations and views of Dutch Ceylon, 1602-1796" by Rajpal Kumar De Silva, Willemina G. M. Beumer

Fort Ostenburg is believed to be the fort buit by King Rajasinghe II who ruled this country for 52 years (1635-1687) to attack the Portuguese at Fort Fedrick.

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Fort Macdowall at Matale – මැක්ඩොවල් බලකොටුව

Remains of Fort Macdowall

Fort Macdowall was built by the British in the town of Matale in 1803 as an out post during the Kandian Wars. The fort was named after General Macdowall, who led the expedition to the Kingdom of Kandy, it is one of the few forts build inland.

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Hammenhiel Fort in Jaffna – හැමන්හිල් බලකොටුව

The Hammenhiel Fort lies on a small rocky island at the entrance to the Jaffna Lagoon. The fort was built by the Portuguese in mid 1618 of quarried coral and was named Fortaleza Real (Fort Royal). After a 3 month

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Fort Fredrick at Trincomalee – ත්‍රිකුණාමලය බලකොටුව

Fort Fredrick at Trincomalee

Fort Fredrick is a fort built by Portuguese at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka in 1624. It is said to built from the debris of an ancient Hindu temple that was destroyed by the Portuguese.

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Haldummulla Portuguese Fort – හල්දුම්මුල්ල පැරණි බලකොටුව

Remains of Haldummulla Fort

Haldummulla lies about 175 km off the capital of Colombo at a elevation of about 1200 metres. The Portuguese fort of Haldummulla existed in the early 17th century between Haldummulla and Idalgashinna.

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Galle Fort – ගාල්ල කොටුව

The Dutch Galle Fort is a rare historical jewel protected by dark, thick stone walls – with the endless ocean on one side.

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Fort Pyl & Fort Beschutter

Remains of Fort Pas Beschutter in Jaffna Peninsula

Three miles north east from Elephant Pass in the general area of Iyakachchi was situated the second fortification called Pas (Fort) Beschutter built by the Dutch near the village of Koyilvayal. Further to the north east from this point was the third Dutch fortification named Pas (Fort) Pyl.

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Dutch Fort at Elephant Pass – යාපනය අලිමංකඩ බලකොටුව

View of the Elephant Pass Fort from the lagoon before it was destroyed post 1984. (Source: The Dutch Forts of Sri Lanka – The Military Monuments of Ceylon by W.A. Nelson)

The Dutch were the first to erect a fort at Elephant Pass. It was more like a stockade or a watch post. Though well fortified and built with strong defenses the extent of the fortifications were much smaller to that of Galle or Jaffna forts.

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Delft Island Fort – Jaffna – ඩෙල්ෆ් බලකොටුව

Delft Island – This island was called by the Portuguese ilha das Vacas, had a fort built by them. The Dutch called it Delft Island. The tamils call it the Neduntheevu or Neduntivu.

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Historic Colombo Fort – කොලඹ බලකොටුව

The business district of Colombo, with Government buildings, banks and other commercial ventures, 5 star hotels and department stores, is still called ‘Fort’, because that is what it once was. The Fort of Colombo, which like Jaffna and Galle was

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Batticaloa Fort – මඩකලපුව බලකොටුව

Batticaloa Fort

The Fort in Batticaloa lies on a one of the many small islands of Batticaloa in the east coast of Sri Lanka. It was built by the Portuguese in 1628 after a Dutch fleet landed in Batticaloa in 1902 to

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Balana Fort – බලන බලකොටුව

Balana Fort

After the Portuguese landed in Sri Lanka in 1505, their aim was to acquire more territory. But, the Balana rock fortress that served as an observation post stood against an invasion of the Kandyan kingdom.

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Arandora Fort – අරන්දොර බලකොටුව

ogimage amazinglanka

Arandora Fort is a Portuguese Fort used as a base camp. This was captured by the Dutch in 1665 made in to a fortification against the wishes of Rajasinghe II, King of Kandy.

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Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Ancient Palace Complex – සීගිරිය

Sigiriya Frescoes

Rising 200 meters vertically from the flat pains, Sigiriya Rock provides you with one of the most dramatic sites in Sri Lanka. Top of this rock contains ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477AD – 495 AD) and surrounding rock is the Royal Garden.

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Mapagala Fortress in Sigiriya – මාපාගල බලකොටුව

ogimage amazinglanka

To the South of Sigiriya is the Mapagala Fortress. Archaeological Commissioner Hocart in the 1920s took note of the cyclopean style stone walls in the fort, and the square hammered stones in the ramparts of the Citadel.

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