Galle is an ancient Muslim port where different political influences from Europe have merged. In fact, the Galle Fort was occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch and British until the late 19th century. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, it is surrounded by the sea on three sides. The surviving Dutch-colonial architecture and narrow streets exude the historic atmosphere of this living fort. The 18th century Dutch church has a splendid wooden memorial to one of the commanders of Galle, while the Arab quarter has a distinctly Moorish touch.