Sunday, January 22, 2012

0118. Srilanka - Galle Lighthouse

Galle Lighthouse is Srilanka's oldest light station.  Galle Lighthouse is located in the middle of an ancient Galle Fort, declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.  The Lighthouse is therefore a part of the World Heritage Site.  Galle is Srilanka's oldest city, located on the South-Western shore of the island.  Galle has a natural harbor with South pointing promontory.  The Lighthouse is strategically located at the end of the promontory, giving it full view of any ships.

In 1505, the Portuguese arrived Galle.  They seized control of the city from the Srilankan kings and began construction of the Galle Fort.  In 1640, the Dutch captured the city and built the Lighthouse at the Galle Fort. But, during a battle, the Lighthouse was burnt down.  The Dutch remained in Srilanka for almost 150 years.  The city was taken by the British in 1796.  Thus, the city was under the European domination for almost four centuries.

The Galle Lighthouse is situated at the edge of the quadrangular Galle Fort and is built 20 feet above the road level on the ramparts.  The Lighthouse was a round-shaped.  The wind direction can be observed with the help of a red arrow at the top of the Lighthouse.  The exterior wall of the Lighthouse was adorned with lines resembling rings and there were about 23 lines carved from top to the bottom.  The Lighthouse has an automated system where the lights go ON and OFF through automatic system.  The present Lighthouse was built by British in 1939. 

Srilanka Post commemorated the Galle Lighthouse by the release of 20.00 (LKR) postage stamp on 22-Jan-1996. 

Re-built in 1939, the Galle Lighthouse:
  • Tower is ROUND cast-iron
  • Tower painted WHITE
  • Base of the lantern is painted RED
  • Height is 27 meters
  • Colour scheme of LIGHT is WHITE
  • Light character is 2 (two) FLASHES every 15 seconds

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