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Surinam: Paramaribo

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Paramaribo | Surinam | Americas

[Visited: August 2003, August 1996]

Paramaribo is a perfect town to walk around in. Walking from one sight to the next point of interest is never far, and the central area is not very large either. You can walk past historic places like Fort Zeelandia, the waterfront area with old trade houses and warehouses, typical, attractive wooden houses, and also Independence Square with monuments to heroes of Surinam and modern buildings, often in classical styles. One of the main wooden buildings in Paramaribo is the Saint Petrus & Paulus Cathedral, claimed to be one of the largest wooden church in South America - definitely worth a visit, if only for its enormous windows, and marvelling at the wooden structure inside.

Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): Marketwoman at Paramaribo market

Then, there is the Palmentuin, or Palm Garden, where you can walk under palm trees soaring high into the sky. This garden, formerly part of the Presidential Palace, is also a place where sometimes music festivals are organized. From here, it is a short walk to Fort Zeelandia. More than 350 years old, built by French colonists, improved by the English and ultimately used by the Dutch, who gave it is current name. During Surinam independence, it was used as a military basis again.

Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): Palace of Finance, Paramaribo

While most buildings are made from wood, for instance the Ministry of Finance on Independence Square is made from bricks, which were once used as weight for ships arriving empty from Europe. The buildings on the waterfront were all built in the 19th century, after fires destroyed the original, wooden buildings. Still now, wooden buildings run the risk of becoming victims of fire. One of the largest buildings in town is the Central Market, one of the must-sees in Paramaribo. It is full of life, vegetables and fruit sold by the heap, as colourful as a market, where Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, and African influences come together, can be.

Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): For Zeelandia, Paramaribo
Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): Palm Gardens, Palmentuin, Paramaribo
Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): Tending to business at Paramaribo market
Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): Lantern near Fort Zeelandia, Paramaribo
Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): Stairs on Independence Square, Paramaribo
Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): Wooden house in window, Paramaribo
Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): Saint Peter & Paul Cathedral, Paramaribo
Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): Front of Saint Peter & Paul Cathedral, Paramaribo
Picture of Paramaribo (Surinam): Paramaribo: waterfront with wooden houses

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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