iSee Delft Gate

Only remnant of the original Dutch Fort

  • Commercial House, No 21, Sir Razik Fareek Mawatha, Colombo 01
  • Open daily 24/7

Only remaining gate

“Where is the Fort?” you may wonder when wandering around in Fort. It’s no longer there. When the British took over from the Dutch, they felt the solid structure stood in the way of free trade and within a couple of years dismantled the whole thing. All walls, ramparts, and bastions were demolished, including the three gates: Galle Gate in the south, Water Gate in the harbour and Delft Gate towards Pettah. By a miracle, the Brits left a small part of the Delft gate untouched, the only physical reminder of what once was “one of Asia’s most magnificent forts".

Hidden gem

Today the gate is hidden within the premises of the Commercial Bank in Queen St, which financed the restoration of this monument. Still, you would entirely miss it if you didn’t look inside. One can hardly imagine that a structure of this size was actually a primary way into one of the most important sea-forts held by the Dutch. In those days, one would enter the gate from the Pettah by crossing the moat and using a draw bridge.

This was one of Asia’s most magnificent forts, designed by the Dutch military engineering genius Cohorn, famous for his great star-like ramparts that could withstand heavy bombardment.
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