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Galle, formerly Point de Galle, city in southwestern Sri Lanka, capital of Southern Province.

A seaport bordering a tea-growing region, Galle exports rubber, tea, rope, coconut oil, and coir (coconut fiber).

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Galle was an important commercial port beginning in the 16th century, when much of Sri Lanka was occupied by Portugal, and later under the Dutch. Following the improvement of the port of Colombo by the British during the 19th century, the prosperity of Galle declined. Population (1990 estimate) 84,000.

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Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in south and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and south Asian traditions.

The Galle fort is a world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. Other prominent landmarks in Galle include St. Mary’s Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests, one of the main Shiva temples on the island, and The Amangalla, a historic luxury hotel.

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