It is easy to get lost in the cobblestoned alleyways and streets within Galle Fort. Today the area is full of modern restaurants, hotels, clothing, and souvenir shops. Meanwhile, snake charmers and buskers line the seawall.
However, the fort was not always such a cosmopolitan spot. A basic fort was constructed by the Portuguese when they made their first landing to the island in 1505. When the Dutch eventually seized control of Galle, they made a number of improvements; including the enormous sea wall that still lines the fort. Galle Fort is an excellent example of what the synthesis between European and Asian architecture looks like.