We begin this tour of Fort Zeelandia on one of its bastions with a great view across the Suriname river. Fort Zeelandia is a fortress in Paramaribo that was built on the bank of the Suriname river by British colonists (originally called Fort Willoughby) in 1651 around a small trading post, created by the Dutch. This marked the beginning of Paramaribo. The fortress was captured again by Abraham Crijnssen for the Dutch and its name was changed to Fort Zeelandia in 1667. The area behind the fortress developed into what today is known as the Independence Square. To the west and north of the fortress you’ll find various historical buildings on the complex that were used as officer’s residences, guardhouse and victuals storage areas.
Although the fortress has seen some very dark days in the past, today it is a quiet and peaceful place and many come to the area in the afternoon for a stroll or to relax along the Suriname river. The fortress has been repurposed as a museum and there’s even a small café inside. The museum is open to the public every day of the week. Fort Zeelandia was added to the Unesco World Heritage List in 2002.
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