Dutch Reformed Church

Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church in Galle

The Galle Fort is home to many historic landmarks, but none more significant than the Groote Kerk or the Dutch Reformed Church. Built in 1752 by the Dutch colonists, this is one of the oldest Protestant churches still in use on the island.

Built in the Doric style of the period, the church is very similar to the Wolvendaal Church in Colombo, also built by the Dutch. The church did go through some renovation during British rule, which included the addition of a stained glass window. But for the most part, the church is very much a symbol of Sri Lanka’s Dutch colonial past.

Outside, engraved stone tablets surround the church’s tranquil gardens. Inside, the floors are paved with tombstones from the old Dutch cemetery, the oldest stone dating back to 1662. The caretaker will tell you exactly where there are remains still held in walls and under the floor.

Walk past the antique cane pews and you will find yourself in front of the imposing pulpit made from Malaysian calamander wood. There is also an old church organ from 1760. The Dutch Reformed Church is a time capsule on its own, transporting visitors to a bygone era of Sri Lanka’s rich history.

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