While Paramaribo is not a big city, it offers some very interesting architecture which can easily be appreciated on a walk through the historic downtown area. Here, you can see some stately brick buildings, which have a classical appearance, also because some of them have a facade with high white columns. Some of these buildings could almost have been taken directly from the former mother country, the Netherlands, and planted here in the tropical northern part of South America.
Naturally, when the Dutch established themselves here in the late 17th century, they also took their ways of construction with them. Gradually, their style was blended with local techniques, using local building materials, resulting in a fusion of recognizable Dutch and indigenous architecture. The results are still visible in a rather small area in downtown Paramaribo: traditional houses being chiefly made of wood, fires have destroyed some parts, while modernization of the city has taken care of others. The city centre now is protected as it has become a Unesco World Heritage site.
The most striking feature of the traditional style of building is a square brick foundation, on which you can find the structure with wooden walls, a high gabled roof. Houses have many windows, with wooden shutters. Most buildings nowadays are run down, one the one hand giving them a charming appearance, but hopefully they will be maintained for the future by better maintenance. Apart from the wooden buildings, you can also come across modern architecture in concrete with original and entirely different shapes compared to the traditional ways of building.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Paramaribo Architecture (Surinam). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Paramaribo Architecture.
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