Paramaribo

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Paramaribo
Capital city
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 the banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 240,000 people (2012 census), almost 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 name Paramaribo is probably a corruption of the name of an Indian village, Parmirbo. This was the location of the first Dutch settlement, a trading post established by Nicolaes Baliestel and Dirck Claeszoon van Sanen in 1613. English and French traders also tried to establish settlements in Suriname, including a French post established in 1644 near present-day Paramaribo.

The Dutch settlement was abandoned some time before the arrival of English settlers in 1650. The settlers were sent by the English governor of Barbados, Lord Francis Willoughby, 5th Baron Willoughby of Parham, and established a town on the site of Paramaribo (though probably south of the current town center). The town was protected by a fort, called Fort Willoughby. In 1662, Governor Willoughby was granted the settlement and surrounding lands (extending into Suriname’s interior) by King Charles II.

In 1667, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, Paramaribo was conquered by a squadron of ships under Abraham Crijnssen. The Treaty of Breda in 1667, confirmed Paramaribo as the leading town of the now Dutch colony of Suriname. The fort protecting Paramaribo was renamed Fort Zeelandia in honor of the Dutch province that had financed Crijnssen’s fleet. (The town was also renamed New Middelburg but the name did not catch on with the inhabitants).

The population of Paramaribo has always been very diverse. Among the first British settlers were many Jews [2] and one of the oldest synagogues in the Americas is found in Paramaribo.[3] The population of the town was greatly increased after 1873, when former slaves (who had been freed in 1863) were allowed to stop working for their former masters and leave the sugar plantations.

Paramaribo has remained the capital of Suriname, from its colonial days through the independence of Suriname in 1975 to the present day. The old town has suffered many devastating fires over the years, notably in January 1821 (which destroyed over 400 buildings) and September 1832 (which destroyed nearly 50 buildings).

In 1987 an administrative reorganization took place in Suriname and the city was divided into 12 administrative jurisdictions.

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 rainfall, but the city does experience noticeably wetter and drier periods during the year. During "autumn" (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 receives roughly 2200 mm of rainfall 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)
Average 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[4]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1790 18,000 —    
1831 15,265 −0.40%
1853 16,031 +0.22%
2012 240,924 +1.72%
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 240,924 people (2012 census). The city is famed for its diverse ethnic makeup, including Creoles (African or mixed African-European descent) 27%, Indian (East Indian descent) 23%, Multiracials 18%, Maroons (descendants of escaped African slaves) 16%, Javanese (Indonesian descent) 10%, Indigenous (descendants of native population) 2%, Chinese (descendants of 19th-century contract workers) 1.5%, and smaller numbers of Europeans (primarily of Dutch and Portuguese descent), Lebanese and Jews. In the past decades a significant number of Brazilians, Guyanese and new Chinese immigrants have settled in Paramaribo.

Economy[edit]

Paramaribo is the business and financial centre of Suriname. Even though the capital city does not produce significant goods itself, almost all revenues from the country's main export products gold, oil, bauxite, rice, and tropical wood are channeled through its institutions. All banks, insurance corporations and other financial and commercial companies are headquartered in Paramaribo. Around 75 percent of Suriname's GDP is consumed in Paramaribo.

Tourism is an increasingly important sector, with most visitors coming from the Netherlands.[5]

Government[edit]

Resorts of the Paramaribo district.

Administratively, Paramaribo forms its own district in Suriname. The resorts of Paramaribo district therefore correspond to boroughs of the city. There are twelve resorts in the Paramaribo district:

Resort Area in square km Population density Population (2012)
Blauwgrond 43 661.3 31,483
Rainville 31 930.7 22,747
Munder 14 1146.4 17,234
Centrum 9 3252.7 20,631
Beekhuizen 6 3297.2 17,185
Weg naar Zee 41 321.3 16,037
Welgelegen 7 3387.0 19,304
Tammenga 6 2385.5 15,819
Flora 4 3836.5 19,538
Latour 6 4358.0 29,526
Pontbuiten 6 3246.2 23,211
Livorno 9 931.8 8,209

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.

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.

Education[edit]

Paramaribo's institution of higher learning is Anton de Kom University of Suriname, the country's only university.

Healthcare[edit]

Paramaribo is home to four hospitals, the Academic Hospital Paramaribo, 's Lands Hospitaal, Sint Vincentius Hospital and Diakonessenhuis.

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 kickboxer and Mixed Martial Artist Tyrone Spong and kickboxer Andy Ristie.

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Paramaribo is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ E.M. Pospelov, Geograficheskie nazvaniya mira (Moscow: Russkie slovari, 1998), p. 322.
  2. ^ "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. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Paramaribo". 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Willemstad World Heritage City. Curacaomonuments.org. Retrieved on 2012-05-19.