Kalpitiya Dutch Fort
Sri Lanka has its own rich history and culture to display throughout the island, but it is also home to the remnants of various invasions from its past. The Kalpitiya Dutch Fort is one of many examples of these.
Kalpitiya was once a well-known trading hub for passing Arab merchants. In the mid-16th century, the Portuguese conquered the town and renamed it to Kardiv Island. Sri Lanka’s reigning monarch at the time, King Rajasinghe II from the Kingdom of Kandy, turned to the Dutch for help in retaking his land. However, after the Dutch invasion, the land was not returned back to the king. Instead, the Dutch began the construction of a fort which was completed in 1676. The location was a strategically important point that allowed the Dutch East India Company to control the Kingdom of Kandy’s external trade.
Highlights of the Fort and its Utilisation
The fort is a square-shaped structure with walls that reach up to 4 meters high, and it was constructed using coral and limestone from the surrounding area. It features bastions at each of its four corners. In 1795, the fort was taken over by the British, who occupied it until the mid-19th century in 1859. During Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war, the fort was used as a base by the Sri Lankan Navy for its training and operational activity.