Trip Planner:   Asia  /  Sri Lanka  /  Southern Province  /  Matara  /  Star Fort
The Star Fort is a fort in Matara, Sri Lanka, located on the eastern bank of the Nilwala River, approximately 350m from the gate to the Matara fort. It was constructed by the Dutch in 1765, and was originally called Redoute Van Eck.
To find out how to plan a trip to Matara, use our trip itinerary maker.
Source
Create an itinerary including Star Fort
map
Star Fort Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
61 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • If you're in matara city this is one of the place to visit It's very old fortress it's in middle of the city You can go easily by tuk tuk You can learn more history about sri lanka and matara city  more »
  • Beautiful site, different from what can be found in the country, registered at Unesco. Very beautiful landscapes.
    View original
  • If someone is interested in the history of Matara city as a Colony of the Dutch sometime back, the free-admission museum located in the small yet artistically renovated fort would be a great place. Su...  more »
Google
  • The Star Fort (Sinhalese: මාතර තාරකා කොටුව) is a fort in Matara, Sri Lanka, located on the eastern bank of the Nilwala River, approximately 350 metres (1,150 ft) from the gate to the Matara fort. It was constructed by the Dutch in 1765, and was originally called Redoute Van Eck. In 1640 the Dutch completed the main fort at Matara but found it to be vulnerable from attacks coming from land. In 1762 Singhalese forces backed by Kandyan Kingdom attacked and took control of the fort.[1] In 1763 the Dutch regained control of the fort and that year commenced construction of another smaller fort on the east bank of the Nilwala River, in order to protect the main fort from attacks originating from the river. The Star Fort was built to a unique shape of a six pointed star with space for 12 large cannons to cover approaches from all directions. The glacis or outer wall is approximately 7.5 metres (25 ft) wide and is surrounded by a 6 metres (20 ft) wide and 3.1 metres (10 ft) deep moat.[1] The rampart walls of the fort are constructed out of granite rock and coral, and are 14 feet (4.3 m) in width.[1]The fort was built to hold a small garrison, food supplies and enough ammunition to withstand an attack before being re-inforced from the main fort. The fort also had a two prison cells and a 2.75 metres (9.0 ft) diameter well in its centre to supply water.[1]The drainage system was internal and disposed of the water collected from the monsoon rains to the moat. The date of construction (1765) is embossed over the main gate with the Dutch East India Company insignia and the coat of arms of the governor flanked by two rampart lions. The entrance gate of the Star Fort, which is faced with coral, is also emblazoned "Redoute Van Eck 1763", commemorating the Dutch Governor of Ceylon, Lubbert Jan baron van Eck (1719 - 1765). The roof of the building originally was roofed with cadjan leaves, which were later replaced with clay tiles. The fort is said to be the last major defence post built by the Dutch but never had the chance to prove its effectiveness. In 1796 the fort was handed over to the British with the surrender of the Sri Lankan territory by the Dutch. The British used it as an administrative office and in 1965 it was used as a library until 1975 when it was acquired by the Department of Archeology.[1] The fort has subsequently been restored and currently houses a museum, which showcases the history of Matara.
  • A magnificent architectural and archeological site from dutch era. Nice place to visit.
  • A historical amazing place to visit in matara
  • Nice place situated in matara town
  • A fort built by Dutch in 1765, and was originally called Redoute Van Eck. this was built to a unique shape of a six pointed star with space for 12 large cannons to cover approaches from all directions

Plan your trip to Matara

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Matara

A couple of hotels stand close to the train station in Matara, as well as some guesthouses located on the side streets of the Fort district. But the greatest diversity of accommodations lies down by the coast. Matara Beach has some hotels and guesthouses right on the waterfront, while Polhena Beach to the west adds sprawling resorts into the mix, as well as homestays, high-rise hotels, and eco-lodges.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Matara by other users

2 days in Matara BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA December, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Matara BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in Sri Lanka & Male BY A USER FROM DENMARK February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Matara BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA December, kids, popular PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Matara BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA December, kids, popular PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Matara BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Matara BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Matara BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM HUNGARY February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM HUNGARY February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans