Fort Fredrick

Fort Fredrick

Check Fort Fredrick on the Sri Lanka map

Fort Fredrick (Fort of Triquillimale) is a fort built by Portuguese colonials at Trincomalee, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka, completed in 1624 CE, built on Swami Rock-Konamamalai from the debris of the world famous ancient Hindu Koneswaram temple (Temple of a Thousand Pillars). The temple was destroyed by the Portuguese colonial Constantino de Sá de Noronha under Phillip III, occupier of the Jaffna kingdom and Malabar country on the island. On the Konamalai cape was also built a new village of Portuguese and Tamil people, 50 Portuguese soldiers and inside the fort, a church named after "Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe". The Fort of Triquillimale was dismantled and rebuilt by the Dutch in 1665, renamed Fort Fredrick.

1622 destruction of Koneswaram temple
The shrine was attacked and destroyed on April 14, 1622 CE, the Tamil New Years Day, by the Portuguese general Constantino de Sá de Noronha (who called it the Temple of a Thousand Pillars). The main statue was taken out to town during the Ther chariot procession in the festive period, during which time Portuguese soldiers entered the temple dressed as Iyer priests and began robbing it. In an act of religious zeal, the temple was then levered over the edge into the sea. Fleeing priests buried some of the temple's statues in the surrounding area. Temple stones and its carved pillars were used to construct Fort Fredrick to strengthen the colonists' influence over the eastern seaboard of the island against other invading European armies, including the Dutch navy during the Dutch–Portuguese Wars. An extensive campaign of destruction of five hundred Hindu shrines, the Saraswathi Mahal Library and forced conversion in the Tamil country was conducted by the Portuguese upon their arrival to the island and conquest of the Jaffna kingdom; the temple had been paying protection fees of 1280 fanams a year to the Portuguese. Trincomalee witnessed several naval battles of Europe's Thirty Years' War under Phillip II's man Phillippe de Oliveira. Between 1639–1689 CE, the Ati Konanayakar temple was built in nearby Thampalakamam to house the idols on procession that survived. The destruction of the Konesar temple is historically viewed as the biggest loot of one of the richest temples of Asia. Gold, pearls, precious stones and silks collected for more than 1000 years were robbed within a few hours. A site plan by De Queiroz states: "On the first rise to the summit of the rock was a Pagoda, another at mid-ascent, and the principal one of them all at the highest eminence, visited by a concourse of Hindus from the whole of India." In his dispatch to Philip III, King of Portugal, Constantino described: "The land of the Pagoda is 600 fathoms long and 80 feet at its broadest, narrowing to 30 feet." The final monument of the temple complex was destroyed two years later. Regarding a prophetic Tamil inscription de Noronha found at the site, he added "When I went there to make this Fort, I found engraved on the Pagoda, among many other inscriptions, one that ran thus: Kulakottan has built this pagoda..."

1624 - 1639
The fort that was built by the Portuguese was initially a triangular fort named the Fort of Triquillimale by the Portuguese equipped with guns captured from a Danish fleet ship. Of triangular shape it was "... of stone and mortar..." with three bastions to the three angles, the more important bastion, was called ‘Santa Cruz’, it was the key for the defence of the bay and it was situated on the south side of the isthmus to directed contact with the waters of the bay, on this bastion were mounted six pieces of artillery. To the north extremity of the isthmus was situated the bastion of ‘Santo António’, it was equipped of five pieces of artillery. The two main bastions were connect by a wall 100 "paços" long, three and half "braças" high and six "palmos" thick, this wall closed the isthmus in its more narrow part. A third bastion, the smallest of the three, was situated on the north side up on the peninsula, on this bastion were mounted three pieces of artillery. All the artillery had been recovered by a relict of a Danish ship. Another wall of the same dimension of the previous one, connected on the south side this third bastion with the main bastion of ‘Santa Cruz’. While on the north side the third bastion was connected with that of Sancto Antonio only by a parapet of "pedra and cal" situated on the top of the rock cliff to the sea, the Portuguese had modified the escarpment below this wall so as to render it steeper. On the higher extremity of the peninsula a small settlement of Portuguese ‘casados’ and indigenous was situated, in total ‘vinte brancos e vinte e cinco pretos’. The casados together with 50 Portuguese soldiers guaranteed the garrisoning of the fortress. The soldiers resided inside of the fortress together with their captain, while the captain of the fort that was named by the King or by the Viceroy, resided in a house in the settlement of the casados.18 In accordance with a map in the "Livro das plantas das fortalezas cidades e povoaçois do Estado da India Oriental" another isolated bastion was present on the south side of the rocky promontory. In front of the two main bastions a ditch seems to have been present. A small native village was situated between the Portuguese fort and the bay. In the Bocarro’s map are showed also three temples on the extreme point of the peninsula, these temples instead are not present in the map of the "Livro das plantas das fortalezas cidades and povoaçois do Estado da India Oriental" of the library of the Paço Ducal de Vila Viçosa. The entrance of the fort seems to have been situated along the southern wll on the side of the village of ‘casados’.
A map of the Portuguese age, compiled by the same Costantino de Sá governor of Ceylon, shows the fort of Trincomalee situated on the isthmus of the peninsula, clearly indicated in it is the village of the casados situated on the peninsula beyond the fort, the same fort has triangular shape with three bastions. It makes part of the same collection, a greater map of the fort, entitled "Planta da fortalesa de Trinquilimale" with indicates the names of the three bastions: S. Cruz (the larger bastion), S. António and the small S. Tiago, with the indication "este baluarte se acomodou ao sitio". On the inner inside of the fort it is the name of N. S. de Guadalupe, indicating the name of the church of Trincomalee. Costantino de Sá informs us that on the three bastions were mounts 16 pieces of artillery, the garrison comprised 40 soldiers and 30 casados. The place was judged by de Sá impregnable for being placed on high cliffs and, according with his opinion, also the Portuguese city with a few works of fortification could be rendered one of the more strong places of the entire east.19 This is the description that captain João Ribeiro makes to us of the fort of Trincomalee: the fort was a triangular fortress with three bastions, one on each angle, armed with 10 iron guns, it was constructed on a hill near the ‘Bay dos Arcos’, inside the fort was a church20 and a warehouse for the goods and ammunitions. A captain and 50 soldiers were of garrison, in the fortress then resided a constable, Casados and a chaplain. The dimensions of smaller sides of the fortress were of 75 meters, the greater side measured 150 meters.

1639 - present
This fort was captured by a Dutch fleet under Admiral Westerwold in 1639 and in 1665 a new fort was built here by the Dutch to defend against the advancements of the British and the French. The fort was renamed Fort Fredrick. In 1672, the year when the Dutch Republic was attacked by France, Britain, and two German states, the French captured Trincomalee and later they occupied Batticaloa. However soon the French were forced to leave. Trincomalee was important for its large all-season secure harbor. In late 18th century Trincomalee traded hands once more with the French capturing it again and later handing back to the Dutch East India Company (VOC) at the Peace of Paris in 1784. In 1795 it was taken over by the British, and remained a British garrison till 1948. Duri Coastal artillery guns were added during the two World Wars. Today it remains garrisoned by a detachment of the Gajaba Regiment, Sri Lanka Army, but accessible to visitors.
Arthur Wellesley, later 1st Duke of Wellington visited whilst a Colonel in the British East India Company, the bungalow he resided in is known as Wellesley Lodge which is inside Fort Fredrick and now is the officer's mess of the 2nd (Volunteer) battalion of the Gajaba Regiment of the Sri Lankan Army.

Recommended review time for sightseeing: 1 h


Tourist reviews about Fort Fredrick

More like an old wall
ManishSyd... [TA], , Rydalmere, New South Wales, Australia

This forty was built by the Portuegese in 17th century. However, the Sri Lankan army is now based here. There isn't much of a fort only a wall and a gate. Great shots of some deers though!

Well kept historic fort!
AmilaX [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

this is one of the best kept fortresses in Sri Lanka, the area is well kept and the security is guaranteed with Army camp . Plenty of trees and Deers too.

Enjoyable
claireh13... [TA], , Upminster, United Kingdom

We really enjoyed wandering around this beautiful fort. The setting is serene and it is interesting to see the fort still in use. Venture up to the temple too. Lovely spot in Trinco and a real highlight of our time here.

Spent the full evening
Mithila D [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Amazing. Lot to see so be prepared to spend at least 5 hours. Loved how everything was built, specially the guns & the underground artillery store. Easily can observe the full view of the harbor.

Pleasant 1 hour walk
Marek B [TA], ,

You can get there by walk or tuk tuk from the town or from the Dutch bay which is beautiful. There are herds of cheeky deer around begging for food and eating your snack! They are one of the main attractions of the city and the Fort. The services (WC and bathrooom) are available as well as drinking water and a car park.

Meh.
Jenni M [TA], , New York City, New York

I don't know why I go to these places. I always leave feeling midly amused. But the walk up to the top is nice. You hit another temple (ie. another grand Buddha). It's also an opportunity to see the views from above. If you don't go, you're not really missing anything, I think....

There were lots of vendors in the Fort selling souvenirs, snacks, etc.

Fort Fredrick
Rohan A L... [TA], , Gampaha, Sri Lanka

The Fort Fredrick was build by Portuguese in 1623. This is located by the Trincomalee town. The famous Koneswaram temple is located inside this fort. This Hindu temple earlier know as temple of thousand Pillars. According to historical information,Portuguese had demolished the old Koneswaram temple and they build this fort with the parts of that. The remaining things were push down to the sea. According to the historical facts, this place also known as Gokanna and the Gokanna Temple also located in side this, where the current Koneswaram temple is located.

All in one place
Anton D [TA], , Tyumen, Russia

At the outer wall near the road live deers. Inside the fort amazingly beautiful and big trees. Buddhist temple for lovers of peace. Near the statue of the Buddha good panoramic view of Trincomalee.
Hindu temple a popular place, a lot of pilgrims. On the way to his shop with souvenirs and sweets. The temple was under construction, so it was noisy from the work tools, but you can see how paint the walls and statues.

bella vista
strabus [TA], , Florence, Italy

il forte non presenta grandi attrazioni, al suo interno ci sono della basi militari ma in cima al promontorio vi è un bel tempio con una vista straordinaria su due baie, bel posto da visitare e per fare suggestive foto

Ancient place
ParaviBO [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

You can see ancient places, buildings and other items around this Fort Frederick. Nice place to visit and you can go there while your visit to Koneswaram Temple.

Must Visit place
Shane3211 [TA], , Sydney

Have been to this place a few times, the view from the top is fanastic. There is a Hindu temple and the most famous lookout called "Lover's Leap" is just behind.

Something to do to kill an hour or so
Davyt101 [TA], , Dublin, Ireland

If you are tired hanging out on the beach perhaps take a tuk tuk here to pass some time.

It's on the way to the temple so two birds with one stone.

Would I recommend? Nope cant say I would :(


Fort Frederick
Skypolice [TA], , Doha, Qatar

Worth visiting if you are in the area but I wouldn't go out of the way to do it. Temple at the top is under refurbishment and you have to walk around barefoot which, in the heat I found painful, particularly with the building detritus around.

Great history as you come to expect in Sri Lanka.
jayda_oz [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

The temple is in a state of renovation unfortunately so you are unable to enter right into it. But interesting place and enjoyed checking out the Dutch lookout ares with the Buddhist and Hindu influences.

Several sites in one
chewie999 [TA], , Adelaide

Fort Frederick is well worth a visit. It is the only place in the world that I have been to that you walk an active military base to see the tourisitic sites. The soldiers are friendly and smiling despite carrying guns. There are 2 temples, the first (buddhist) on the left after first entering and the second (Hindu) on the bluff up the the hill with great views of the surrounding area. There is a small market street n the way to the top. This site definitely surprised me and left me smiling.

Back to history
Farziya A [TA], ,

Amazing place to see, takes back to the Dutch era. A must see in Trincomalee. And the beach surrounding it is amazing.

Important place in history of the VOC
EstherBel... [TA], , Keerbergen, Belgium

The fort and the temple are the highlights of trinco. Defenitely worth seeing also because the beautiful location and the great vieuw on the harbour.

Colonial land mark on your way to konneshwaran temple
Prasanna... [TA], , Panadura, Sri Lanka

A well preserved colonial land mark on your way to Famous Konneshwaran temple. Therefore you would not miss it surely. Access is limited as it now houses an army camp and some important government offices. External view only. How ever you would see lots of deer roaming around freely.
Tip - If you want an in deapth tour of a fort go to Galle. unfortunately that is south of Sri Lanka some 400 km from this place


Because it is in the guides
Edo196418 [TA], , Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Puts Trincomalee in an historical perspective but not so spectacular as Galle Fort. You pass it while visiting the temple

The rise of the Phonix
PereraArj... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Fort Fredrick or Fort of Triquillimale as known by the Portuguese, was built by them on Swami Rock-Konamamalai from the debris of the world famous ancient and prehistoric Hindu Koneswaram temple (The temple of a thousand pillars), which is said to be the original temple of Koneswaram built by the archetypal Lord of Lanka, King Ravana.

The original kovil was destroyed on April 14, 1622 CE, the Tamil New Years Day, by the Portuguese general Constantino de Sá de Noronha. The great pillars and building blocks of the kovil itself was recycled in the building of the fort. Its treasures were philandered by de Sa de Noronha, who was famous for his greed for treasure. Little of this fortune is said to have reached the treasury of Portugal.

The fort was later occupied by the Dutch, and last the British. Today it houses some detachments of the Sri Lanka military.

Worth a visit and a walk or bike ride.

The rise of the Phonix
PereraArj... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Fort Fredrick or Fort of Triquillimale as known by the Portuguese, was built by them on Swami Rock-Konamamalai from the debris of the world famous ancient and prehistoric Hindu Koneswaram temple (The temple of a thousand pillars), which is said to be the original temple of Koneswaram built by the archetypal Lord of Lanka, King Ravana.

The original kovil was destroyed on April 14, 1622 CE, the Tamil New Years Day, by the Portuguese general Constantino de Sá de Noronha. The great pillars and building blocks of the kovil itself was recycled in the building of the fort. Its treasures were philandered by de Sa de Noronha, who was famous for his greed for treasure. Little of this fortune is said to have reached the treasury of Portugal.

The fort was later occupied by the Dutch, and last the British. Today it houses some detachments of the Sri Lanka military.

Worth a visit and a walk or bike ride.

Interesting walls and surrounds
Emanpee [TA], , Sydney, Australia

This appears to still be a working barracks but entry through the fort gates and along the road leading to temple is unrestricted. Impressive thick stone walls as approach, historic guns outside and impressively deep entrance portico. Once inside, many buildings but none of which appear open to public or provide additional information and as a result there is nothing of much interest. There are toilets half way up the hill but you must pay and provide own paper.

A nice stroll.
Margaret... [TA], , Toowoomba, Australia

We walked through the fort on the main road three times while we were in Trinco. It was a nice cool early morning or evening stroll and the buildings within the walls are quite interesting even though as it is a military post, you can only see them from the road. The tame deer that roam the site are everywhere and when you get to the top of the hill, it's worth it to remove your shoes, to have a look at the Hindu Kovil and the view down to the sea below from there.

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