Construction and Campaigns
Located just a few minutes away from the Star Fort, the Matara Fort was built by the Dutch Empire much earlier than its Star Fort counterpart to protect the land from any outside invader coming from the sea. Interestingly, that mistake was what prompted the Dutch to build the Star Fort in the first place. The Matara Fort was built in the year 1645, however, proved to be ineffective against the Kandyan forces who attacked from the inland as it was captured in 1761, only to be recaptured by the Dutch a year after. The construction of the Star Fort began right after the incident to prevent such an attack in the future. This led to the neglect of the area which comprised the Matara Fort.
Presently though, the old Matara Fort area has been restored and has a stark resemblance to that of its Galle counterpart, which further asserts its historical prominence in the island. One of the highlights is the ramparts, as it gives you a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean. The sunsets here are considered to be one of the best in the southern coast of the island. As you explore the fort, you’ll come across several other colonial monuments within the fort that narrate stories of old.