Tuesday 10 November 2015

Galle, Sri Lanka and Hikone, Japan

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Two different walled towns:
Incontrovertibly a walled fortified town is Galle in the south of Sri Lanka.  Since ancient times and until the 19th Century rise of Colombo, Galle was Serendip's principal trading port. Its Portuguese then massively Dutch built fortifications largely protected the walled town from the 2004 Tsunami  (although at some extra tragic cost to the rest of the city).
 A World Heritage City, Galle is well preserved with much ongoing conservation work, with a lively and culturally mixed local population and some fine hotels and guest houses and a Heritage Foundation

Hikone, in contrast is described in the Japanese manner as a 'Castle Town' .In central Honshu on Japan's largest lake, the focus of preservation, is the fine typical Edu period (17th Century) castle

with one of the finest, though not the largest, of classic Japanese gardens. However parts of the walled town, including samurai houses and town defences do survive. It would qualify as a Walled Town IF it wished to celebrate urban life, in the shadow of a castle. It is on the Japanese tentative list for World Heritage listing More details can be found from the City of Hikone