Star Fort Matara
මාතර තාරකා කොටුව
Star Fort is located Opposite the Urban Council office. This was the last defensive structure undertaken by the Dutch in Sri Lanka. Star Fort derived its name from its shape as it was constructed in the form of a six-pointed star. This Fort was built after the Sinhalese army attack on Matara. This was constructed across the river from the Matara Fort and is very small in size.
The construction of this structure was started in 1763 and completed in 1765 by Baron Van Eck, the Dutch Governor who invaded the Kingdom of Kandy in 1765.
The Star Fort was used to nouse a small garrison of Dutch troops. In 1796 the Star Fort fell into the hands of the British. It was used as the residence of the Engineer and was maintained by the Public Works Department. From 1965 the Matara Urban Council used the Star Fort as the Matara Public Library, and in 1980 it was taken over by the Archaeology Department.
The moat that surrounded the Fort was filled with earth but was later excavated and renovated by the Archaeology Department and a drawbridge. The Fort's interior where the canons could be used and the six points of the star offer vantage points to all directions. A hexagonal-shaped building was constructed in keeping with the shape of the Fort with a hexagonal courtyard. A deep well built inside brings in freshwater even today.
(Heritage of Ruhuna by Dr. H.A.P. Abeyawardana P67)