First built by the Portuguese in 1558, and then fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century, the Galle Fort is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument, declared to be a cultural heritage by UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also has the distinction of being the best-preserved sea fort in South Asia. It resembles fortifications both in the coastal areas of Portugal, and European cities. Today, with its narrow cobble - stone streets, and quaint cafes serving up some of the best dishes in the area, the Fort sill exudes the welcome warmth of old world charm. The area is dotted with Colonial villas and buildings, of which the Dutch Reformed Church is especially noteworthy.