Paramaribo

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Paramaribo
The street Waterkant in Paramaribo
The street Waterkant in Paramaribo
Nickname(s): Par'bo
Paramaribo is located in Suriname
Paramaribo
Paramaribo
The location of Paramaribo in Suriname
Coordinates: 5°52′N 55°10′W / 5.867°N 55.167°W / 5.867; -55.167Coordinates: 5°52′N 55°10′W / 5.867°N 55.167°W / 5.867; -55.167
Country  Suriname
District Paramaribo District
Founded 1603
Area
 • Total 182 km2 (70 sq mi)
Elevation 3 m (10 ft)
Population (2012 census)
 • Total 240,924
 • Density 1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)
Time zone ART (UTC-3)

Paramaribo (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌpaːraːˈmaːriboː], nickname: Par′bo) is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population. The historic inner city of Paramaribo has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002.

Name[edit]

The city is named for the Paramaribo tribe living at the mouth of the Suriname River; the name is from Tupi-Guarani para 'large river' + maribo 'inhabitants.'[1]

History[edit]

1830s lithograph of the market

The area, a trading post started by the Dutch, was taken by the English in 1630, and in 1650 the city became the capital of the new English colony. The area changed hands often between the English and Dutch but it was in Dutch hands again in 1667 and under Dutch rule from 1815 until the independence of Suriname in 1975.

Paramaribo is home to a historic Jewish community.[2] One of the oldest synagogues in the western hemisphere is located in Paramaribo. It was built in 1685 near the Suriname River.[3]

In January 1821, a fire in the city centre destroyed more than 400 houses and other buildings. A second fire in September 1832 destroyed another 46 houses on the western part of the Waterkant.

In 1943 a military plane crashed on its way to North Africa near the city, killing two FBI Agents and 33 other people who were on board. The cause of the aircraft accident was never determined and very few remains of the 35 people aboard were found.[4]

Geography[edit]

View of Paramaribo from space

The city is located on the Suriname River, approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) inland from the Atlantic Ocean, in the Paramaribo district.

Climate[edit]

Paramaribo features a tropical rainforest climate, under the Köppen climate classification. The city has no true dry season, all 12 months of the year average more than 60 mm of precipitation, but the city does experience noticeably wetter and drier periods during the year. September through November is the driest period of the year in Paramaribo. Common to many cities with this climate, temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the course of the year, with average high temperatures of 31 degrees Celsius and average low temperatures of 22 degrees Celsius. Paramaribo on average sees roughly 2200 mm of rain each year.

Climate data for Paramaribo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33
(91)
34
(93)
35
(95)
37
(99)
37
(99)
36
(97)
37
(99)
37
(99)
36
(97)
37
(99)
36
(97)
36
(97)
37
(99)
Average high °C (°F) 30
(86)
30
(86)
30
(86)
31
(88)
30
(86)
31
(88)
31
(88)
32
(90)
33
(91)
33
(91)
32
(90)
30
(86)
31
(88)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26
(79)
26
(79)
26
(79)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
28
(82)
28
(82)
27
(81)
26
(79)
27
(81)
Average low °C (°F) 22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
23
(73)
22
(72)
22
(72)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
22
(72)
22
(72)
Record low °C (°F) 17
(63)
17
(63)
17
(63)
18
(64)
19
(66)
20
(68)
20
(68)
15
(59)
21
(70)
20
(68)
21
(70)
18
(64)
15
(59)
Precipitation mm (inches) 200
(7.87)
140
(5.51)
150
(5.91)
210
(8.27)
290
(11.42)
290
(11.42)
230
(9.06)
170
(6.69)
90
(3.54)
90
(3.54)
120
(4.72)
180
(7.09)
2,220
(87.4)
Source: Weatherbase[5]

Demographics[edit]

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Historic Inner City of Paramaribo
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Colonial style houses, Waterkant, Paramaribo
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 940
UNESCO region Latin America and the Caribbean
Inscription history
Inscription 2002 (26th Session)

Paramaribo has a population of roughly 265,953 people, more than half of the population of Suriname.

Paramaribo is famed for its diverse ethnic makeup, including Creoles, East Indians, Maroons, Javanese, Portuguese, Native Americans, Levantine, Chinese, and other Europeans (primarily of Dutch and English descent). The city also has one of the oldest Muslim and Jewish communities in the western hemisphere.[2][6]

Economy[edit]

The city's major exports are gold, bauxite, sugar cane, rice, cacao, coffee, rum, and tropical woods. Cement and paint are manufactured in the city.[citation needed] Tourism is an increasingly important sector, with most visitors coming from the Netherlands. [7]

Most airlines like Gum Air, Caricom Airways and Blue Wing Airlines have their head offices on the grounds of Zorg en Hoop Airport in Paramaribo.[8]

Transport[edit]

Paramaribo is served by the Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport and Zorg en Hoop Airport for local flights. The Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge, which is part of the East-West Link, connects Paramaribo with Meerzorg on the other side of the Suriname River.

Culture[edit]

On Sundays and holidays there is a popular bird song competition. Suriname has two cinemas, both located in the capital.

Notable landmarks[edit]

Paramaribo's Neveh Shalom Synagogue
Helstone Monument

Sports[edit]

Paramaribo is also the birthplace of several football players; some of them later represented the Netherlands:

Other sports such as badminton, tennis, swimming, track & field athletics, cycling, golf, volleyball and basketball are also commonly played in Suriname.

Paramaribo is also the birthplace of Dutch kickboxer and Mixed Martial Artist Tyrone Spong.

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ E.M. Pospelov, Geograficheskie nazvaniya mira (Moscow: Russkie slovari, 1998), p. 322.
  2. ^ a b "Extract of the Dutch Map Representing the Colony of Surinam". World Digital Library. 1777. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  3. ^ Fox, Tamar (18 February 2011). "Discovering Suriname's Jewish past - and present". Travel (Washington Post). Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Office Down Memorial Page". 
  5. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Paramaribo". 
  6. ^ "The Beginnings of a Community". Virtual Jewish History Tour. Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.statistics-suriname.org/images/pdf/verkeers_vervoer_publicatie2011.pdf%7C
  8. ^ "Eight feared dead in Suriname air crash". The Press. Reuters. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Willemstad World Heritage City. Curacaomonuments.org. Retrieved on 2012-05-19.