Southern most major town in Sri Lanka and the terminus of the coastal rail line has also been under the Portuguese and Dutch rule. The star shaped fort at Matara is an unusual and a unique structure. There are several beautiful and less crowded beaches along the coast between Galle and Matara and the closest to the town is at Polhena. Another attraction is a 25m high colourful Buddha statue built at Veherahena Temple.
The temple is about 2 kM from the town centre and about 1 Km inland from Pallimulla on the main road.
Matara fort built by the Dutch around 1640 is a fortification of a Portuguese garrison. The old Dutch church is an interesting and one of the oldest structures in the Fort. There are many other structures in the Dutch and the British era most of which have undergone many changes. The star fort built in a shape of a star has been built to provide additional protection to the main fort across the river. The moat now restored and a drawbridge added recently.
Early British era market at Nupe now serves, as a music-training centre is an interesting building with Kandyan roof tiles.
Recommended review time for sightseeing: 1 h
This should be the best Dutch Fortress that can be see in Sri Lanka. (it should be the smallest one also). This building is completely refurbished as per the original Dutch design. there is a museum in side this fortress. Floor area of the fortress should not be more than 2 acres.
This is in the middle of Matara city and you can reach here without any difficulty. place is located by the side of A2 road adjoining Matara hospital. I feel this is a place worth watching.
Star fort which is the secondary fort as to the Matara fort next to the beach. This has a shape of a star if you look from the top. This fortress remains unharmed in its real state due to it has been protected by the Sri Lanka archaeological department. If you have watched your cartoons, you can imagine how a fortress is protected. Yes of course this fortress is protected with a huge, strong wall, a Strong tall gate and protected by a deep pool of water around the fortress. It is believed that the pool was protected by Crocodiles before.The fortress Entrance have this fairy tale type folding bridge across the pool. The fort is now converted to a small heritage museum with hysterical things found around the southern province. There are not much to watch in the Museum but there are quite interesting things in it. Other than that you can check about various architectural facts of the fortress including prison blocks, holes for cannons, water drainage systems and etc. Its a nice place to visit and feel like a royal person inside this historic fortress. This is a must see place if you are visiting Matara
You can finish watching this place in 1 hr. But worth watching
The Star Fort is named obviously for its shape and was built to fortify the main fort in Matara. The better preserved one out of the 2 houses a tiny museum, which was closed when we visited at 6pm on Sunday. The watcher who was closing up was kind enough to let us in and even showed us how the draw bridge works. At the entrance there are 2 cells in which prisoners were housed and there are opening from where the food was passed.
The Star Fort was built by the Dutch between 1763 and 1765