Fort Frederick


Occupying the neck of a narrow peninsula, Fort Frederick has been a defensively important site for centuries. A fortress was initially constructed here by the Portuguese in 1623 and later rebuilt by the Dutch. The British took over in 1782 (look out for royal insignias crowning the tunnel-like gateway that pierces the fort’s massively stout walls).

The fortress is used today by the Sri Lankan military, but you're able to explore most of the fort by foot or car.

Assorted cannons and artillery are dotted around the enclave, which also contains a small number of spotted deer grazing under huge banyan trees.

Among the colonnaded colonial-era buildings, the impressive Georgian-style mansion (not open to visitors) is Wellesley House, named after a Duke of Wellington. It dates from the late 1700s. There's also a big standing Buddha statue at the Gokana Temple, from where there are fine views of Trinco and the coastline.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Trincomalee attractions

1. Buddha Statue

0.09 MILES

This big standing Buddha statue is at the Gokana Temple.

2. Gokana Temple

0.09 MILES

There are fine views of Trinco and the coastline from here.

3. Dutch Bay Beach

0.43 MILES

Right in the centre of Trinco is the attractive and picturesque Dutch Bay. Swimming is possible despite sometimes dangerous undertows. However, it’s more…

4. Fish Market

0.48 MILES

Fishy interest is provided at the raucous daily fish market near the bus station. Early mornings are busiest.

5. Maritime & Naval History Museum

0.52 MILES

A grand 18th-century Dutch colonial building has been renovated and turned into a museum. Displays on the ground floor cover Sri Lankan naval history back…

6. Kali Kovil

0.53 MILES

Kali Kovil has the most impressive, eye-catching gopuram (gateway towers) of Trinco’s many Hindu temples. It's always busy.

7. Swami Rock

0.53 MILES

The base for Kandasamy Kovil is considered the world's greatest vantage point for spotting blue whales. Note the odd cubic-shaped rocks below.

8. Kandasamy Kovil

0.53 MILES

This revered temple at the summit of a rocky outcrop is one of Sri Lanka’s pancha ishwaram, five historical Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva and…