Another interesting place in Paramaribo is Fort Zeelandia, a star-shaped fortress used by the British and Dutch armies when they arrived in Suriname.
Located inside the fort is the Suriname Museum (Surinaams Museum) which houses a collection of cultural artifacts and exhibit halls that will take you back in time. This is the best place to learn and discover the fascinating history of Suriname, though most of its articles are written in Dutch. Google translate will come in handy or you can bring someone who knows how to speak the language.
On the first floor, you can find information about the Creoles, Maroons, Indians, Javanese, Hindus and Chinese and how they became a part of Suriname. There are several written articles and preserved artifacts that represent the various cultures and religions in the country.
An old but well-maintained apothecary is found on the ground floor which displays instruments and equipment used from centuries ago including a wooden wheelchair.
It became a controversial site in 1982 where 15 men were tortured and shot due to an attempted coup. The dark and tainted event was known as the December murders. A plaque was placed in the area to honor the memory of those who were killed.
There is an entrance fee of 20 SRD or 2.50 US. You can explore the museum yourself or join their free tour every Sunday at 10:30 am and 12:00 noon. You don’t need to register, but you have to be there 15 minutes before the tour starts. You can also find a souvenir shop inside and a restaurant overlooking the Suriname river.
Exploring the fortress will take less than an hour. We went inside all the rooms and took lots of photos, but there is one area that doesn’t allow pictures and videos because it contains some really precious artifacts.
The colonial fortress is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. For expats and tourists, this is a great place to learn about Suriname because the museum is full of information not found on the internet.
LOCATION: Abraham Crijnssenweg 1, Fort Zeelandia, Paramaribo
OPENING HOURS: Tuesday to Friday, 09:00 am to 2:00 pm; Sunday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm; Closed on Mondays, Saturdays and Holidays
TEL NO: +597 425 871
Source: Stichting Surinaams Museum1