Dutch Reformed Church

Weather :

Timings : 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : Free

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Dutch Reformed Church, Galle Overview

The Dutch Reformed Church, also known as De Groote Kerk, is a church located inside the Galle Fort. Built in 1755, it is the oldest Protestant church in Sri Lanka and continues to be in use today. The Dutch Reformed Church is mostly renowned for its fascinating interiors. This piece of colonial architecture houses interesting relics as a testament to its long history, such as an organ, pulpit and stunning stained glasswork. Distinctive memorial tablets of former commanders of Galle serve as a reminder of the Dutch colonialists. A belfry whose origins lie in the early 18th century stands opposite the church.

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History Of Dutch Reformed Church

While the first ministrations of the Dutch Reformed Church were held in 1642, the present-day church building was constructed in 1752, on the same site of a former Portuguese Capuchin convent. It was financed by Casparus de Jong, the then-commander of Galle. The church was a prominent place of worship during the Dutch rule and was moderately revamped by the British decades later. The building was renovated in the 21st century with assistance from the Dutch Government and reopened in November 2004.

Architecture Of Dutch Reformed Church

The architecture of the Dutch Reformed Church gets its inspiration from the ancient Doric style. The highlights of the church include a second-hand pipe organ from Colombo that was placed in 1760, a hexagonal pulpit crafted with Malaysian calamander wood and local satinwood, and striking stained glass windows built by the British. Honeycomb floors with paved tombstones and attached inscriptions and a charming churchyard with stone tablets are other notable features of this beautiful church.

Tips For Visiting Dutch Reformed Church

1. Services at the Dutch Reformed Church take place from 9:30 AM on every Sunday.

2. A caretaker at the church is usually willing to give a tour of the premises.

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