Galle lighthouse, ramparts and cockerel, by Muthu.
Last modified:
18 Dec 2004

Map of Galle bay, VEL1056

This map is in the Dutch National Archives [ref ARA, VOC collection, maps and drawings, VEL 1056]. It shows 'the Bay of Gale', 'the Bay of Oenewatte', 'Roemasselle Kande, or the mountain of Oenewatne', and as a detail, the enlarged western promontory of that mountain, with its defence works.

The wreck of the Hercules is marked, implying a date after 1661. The map emphasizes fortifications around Rumassala mountain and the modern village of Unawatuna: two batteries on the promontory to guard the western entrance to the harbour and the watering place, and a small fort which could secure the road from the south and cover the landing route shown for boats. This landing route is similar to that taken when the Dutch captured Galle from the Portuguese in 1640. The map may represent a plan for the construction of these fortifications, rather than a plan of those already in existence.

On the main map, the following names are noted:

The text in the lower right corner is difficult to read - sections in parentheses are guessed - but the meaning includes:

The enlargement in the top left corner is called: d 'uytstekende Hoek van Oenewatte in 't Groot - the promontory of Oenewatte in large scale. The meaning of the text is:

  1. a guard place for the men, 36 feet long and 12 feet wide
  2. an ammunition room, 24 feet long and 12 feet wide
  3. a warehouse at the other side, 36 feet long and 12 feet wide
  4. a small room or building for the commander, 12 feet long and 10 feet wide

(Dimensions are also written on the battery map.)

On the enlarged detail map are also marked:

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