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Book source: 'De Architektuur van Suriname', C.L. Temminck Groll, A.R.H. Tjin A. Djie, De Walburg Pers, Zutphen, 1973. ISBN 906011.441.8

Subject: [History, Tourism] Fort Zeelandia


In 1640 the French built a wooden fort on the same spot which is now Fort Zeelandia. During the British colonial days the fort was reinforced and became Fort Willoughby. It was taken in 1667 by Crynssen to become from that day Fort Zeelandia. Fort Zeelandia's fortifications were improved around 1688. The fort protected Paramaribo and the plantations on the Suriname river against enemy ships entering the river. The fort is about 10 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. The walls are made of shell-stone and the buildings (of later date) inside the fort are red brick. The fort is pentagonal shaped with five bastions on each corner.

The Fort Zeelandia complex consists of:

(1) the pentagonal shaped fort itself with 5 bastions where in the 18th century four (two story) buildings were built.

(2) A building 1790 which was intended as a warehouse

(3) Wooden officers quarters

(4) later a guard house building was built. Numbers 2, 3 and 4 are outside the fort's walls. The drill field was situated what is now called 'Independence square'. The fort underwent many changes through the years A brick gate structure from the 18th century was demolished in the 19th century. There were also prison cells built in 1780 outside the fortress walls near building 1790. The armament of the fort was beefed up and in its best days the fort had: Facing inland and a land approach - 4 canons of 6 lbs and 4 canons of 4 lbs. Facing the river and sea approach - 2 canons of 18 lbs 2 canons of 12 lbs 2 canons of 9 lbs 3 canons of 6 lbs. The power house was kept inside the fort. The military significance of the fort became less and less in the 19th century and the fort was turned into a prison. The fort was restored in 1968-1972 into a museum. It became a military installation in the 1980s and what I understand it is now again a museum

Met dank aan Albert Buys

Met dank aan Albert Buys

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