THE FORT OF HAMMENHIEL
The Fort of Hammenhiel is one of the old forts in the Jaffna District and it is situated in the beautiful Karainagar island in west coast of Jaffna. It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and Jaffna Lagoon. During the Dutch colonial period renamed the Karainagar island as New Amsterdam.
The Fort of Hammenhiel is the island stronghold guards the Western entrance to the Jaffna Lagoon. It was built around a small island by the Portuguese in mid 17th century and named it Fortaleza Real (Fort Royal). The Fort was constructed of Quarried Coral on a sand bank in the channel between the two islands of Kayts and Karaitivu of the Jaffna Peninsula.
Later the Dutch captured the Hammenhiel Fort and renamed it as Hammenhiel (Heel of the Ham), by the Dutch and it was rebuilt in 1680. The Fort was extensively altered and strengthened by the Dutch. During the Portuguese and Dutch period it was used as a fort and a prison. The British employed it as a jail and hospital and during the Second World War it became an air-sea rescue station. The Fort of Hammenhiel has been restored and converted into a luxury Resort.