Jaffna peninsula is home to Fort Hammenheil, recently discovered as one of the most sought-after touristic pleasures found in the region. Up until recently Fort Hammenheil was a hidden gem as mentioned in hospitality parlance and the cessation of the war presented this unique offering to the public.
During the days of yore Forts signified power, wealth, and military capability. Today, it is fun to imagine what it was like to live during a time when people fought with swords, cannons, muskets, and bows. In the Middle Ages, leaders constructed massive fortifications to protect their people. Military tacticians during the era of warfare designed fortresses to withstand any attack. However, Fort Hammenheil could not live up to as a bastion of repute, as it was captured rather unceremoniously by the successive forces which ruled Sri Lanka. The Fort was originally built by the Portuguese to guard the passage by water to the Castle Fort at Jaffna and was aptly named as “Fortaleza de Caes”. The Dutch named it “Hammenheil” and name lives on since.
Today, the Fort has shed its rather chequered past and as the Hammenheil Resort and Restaurant continues to win rave reviews from visitors who are enthralled by the sheer experience of living within a luxuriously appointed dungeon surrounded by the ocean.