Fort Zeelandia (Paramaribo)

Coordinates: 5°49′31″N 55°09′00″W / 5.82528°N 55.15000°W / 5.82528; -55.15000
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Fort Zeelandia
Part of Suriname
Fort Zeelandia in Paramaribo
Fort Zeelandia is located in Paramaribo
Fort Zeelandia
Fort Zeelandia
Coordinates5°49′31″N 55°09′00″W / 5.8252°N 55.149872°W / 5.8252; -55.149872
Site history
Built1651 (1651)
Fort Zeelandia
Officers' houses at Fort Zeelandia

Fort Zeelandia is a fortress in Paramaribo, Suriname. In 1640 the French built a wooden fort on the spot which, during British colonial period, was reinforced and became Fort Willoughby. It was taken by the Dutch in 1667 and renamed Fort Zeelandia.[1]


Surinam, a small Dutch colony was established in 1650 by Major Anthony Rowse on behalf of the governor of Barbados, Francis Willoughby. In 1651 the English reinforced the abandoned French fort near present-day Paramaribo, calling it Fort Willoughby. In 1667 the Dutch Admiral Abraham Crijnssen took Paramaribo from forces under Lieutenant-Governor William Byam in a battle which lasted only three hours as British munitions were exhausted. Crijnssen also recaptured the Essequibo-Pomeroon Colony[2][3][4] Crijnssen renamed the Surinamese fort Zeelandia.[5][6] Over the years, it started to become obsolete as a military asset and, in 1772, there were even plans to tear it down.[7]

After Surinamese independence in 1975, under the military government of Dési Bouterse in the 1980s, Fort Zeelandia was the location of the "December murders" of 1982 and was used to hold and torture political prisoners.[7][8]

The Surinamese Museum is located in Fort Zeelandia. The museum has a large collection of ethnographica. Its collections contain archeology, visual arts, colonial furniture, textiles and historical photos.[9]

The Nola Hatterman Art Academy is located in the former commander's house.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Suriname - Paramaribo".
  2. ^ Rodway, James (1888). "Chronological History of the Discovery and Settlement of Guiana ..."
  3. ^ "On this day 25 February".
  4. ^ Marley, David F. (11 February 2008). Wars of the Americas. ISBN 9781598841015.
  5. ^ Rodway, James (1888). "Chronological History of the Discovery and Settlement of Guiana ..."
  6. ^ Huyghues-Belrose, Vincent (2007). "The early colonization of Tobago: Bibliographical and archival material in Martinique and France". Études Caribéennes (8). doi:10.4000/etudescaribeennes.1032.
  7. ^ a b "Fort Zeelandia". City of Paramaribo. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Wat zijn de Decembermoorden". NPO Focus (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Stichting Surinaams Museum". Amazonia Museum Network (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Onderwijs". Nola Hatterman (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 June 2020.

External links[edit]

5°49′31″N 55°09′00″W / 5.82528°N 55.15000°W / 5.82528; -55.15000