The seas carry many secret wondrous treasures under the white waves and blue waters of Sri Lanka. Visitors to country can discover some of these without ever having to step in to the waves should they choose to visit the National Maritime Museum in Galle. Situated close to the Old Gate of Galle Fort in a 16-century Dutch warehouse, the museum was founded in 1992.
With a world of discovery on offer, the museum is home to many underwater relics, as well as models of fish such as sharks and whales, exhibits of seamanship, maritime trade and aquatic life.
Due to Galle having being utilised as a fort and maritime port, many shipwrecks were found on the seabed outlining this grand city. Over the course of time, some of these treasures were salvaged and put on display at the National Maritime Museum. One such artefact currently on display at the museum is the wheel of Sri Lanka’s first warship, the Sri Lanka Navy Vijaya that was commissioned on October 7th in 1949 under the leadership of Lt. Cdr. Rajan Kadirgammar.
Apart from nautical relics, the museum is also home to many models of fishing boats and techniques, which can be seen through the array of dioramas that are on display. Furthermore, they also display the means by which local anglers made their living in addition to their rituals.
With relation to the aquatic life that surrounds the coasts of this wondrous land, many exhibits highlight the various species and breeds of fish and coral life, amongst which one interesting artefact would be the Green Turtle skeleton. Apart from the skeleton and displays, visitors can also browse through the various stuffed sea birds on exhibit, which include South Polar Skua and the Eastern Rosette Tern.
Take time to visit this wonderful National Maritime Museum and be awed by the beauty of underwater life and the maritime trade that is synonymous with the country’s vibrant history.
Museums in Sri Lanka