Galle said to be the famous Tarshish of the Bible is the Port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka. Fortified by the Dutch who ruled maritime Sri Lanka in the 17th & 18th centuries the city still retains the air of old Holland. Old Dutch churches and monuments with armorial bearings, well preserved fort and ramparts, imposing crested and monogrammed gateway dated 1669, many well preserved Old Dutch houses and narrow alleys still bearing Dutch names. One may make a pick of exquisite handmade lace, ivory carvings, moonstone jewelry and beautiful translucent tortoise shell ware, including bracelets, trinket boxes, combs – sometimes inlaid with silver.