Location and Significance
Situated around 3.5 kilometres away from Galle’s city centre, the Galle Clock Tower can be found inside the Galle Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), immediately within its ramparts. The clock tower was built in the late 19th century in honour of Dr Peter Daniel Anthonisz, a Colonial Surgeon born in Galle who cared for the people of the Southern Province. Dr Anthonisz was also a part of the Legislative Council of Ceylon, which was the first representative government body in Sri Lanka. The inscription on the plaque at the clocktower reads:
“This tower erected by public subscription to the perpetual memory of Peter Daniel Anthonisz (born in Galle) in testimony of his skill and benevolence in relieving human suffering. MDCCCLXXXIII”.
What You Can Witness
The Galle Clock Tower stands over 25 metres tall on the site of what was once the guardroom, and overlooks the central Moon Bastion and Galle Cricket Stadium. The design of the clock tower was based on the work of John Henry Guess Landon, while the clock itself was donated as a gift by Mudaliyar Samson de Abrew Rajapakse, a patient of Dr Anthonisz who wanted to show his gratitude for the care that he received. The clock no longer tells the time, but the monument to the doctor still stands and is today a major landmark for visitors to the historic Galle Fort. Although the clock tower was built during the time when Sri Lanka was under British rule, the statues dotted around the structure were erected after Sri Lanka achieved its independence.