13 September 2017

Suriname: Renovation of Fort Zeelandia

Renovations on the roof of Fort Zeelandia have started with the contribution of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Paramaribo.

This colonial fortress from the 17th century was in need of thorough renovation because of two leaking roofs. The renovation was initiated by the Suriname Museum Foundation. Since 1995, Fort Zeelandia houses the Suriname Museum, which displays colonial-era relics, period rooms and temporary exhibitions. The museum owns a large collection of ethnographical objects, which give testimony to the cultural diversity of the Surinamese territory: native Indians, Maroons in the 17th century, Europeans, Jews, Chinese, Indians, Javanese and Lebanese. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was able to make a contribution to renovate the two most essential roofs, in order to preserve and protect the museum’s collection from water damage. The renovations will be finished by the end of September 2017.

Fort Zeelandia
Fort Zeelandia, a pentagonal fortress located along the left bank of the Suriname River, was the first place where Dutch colonists set foot on shore in Suriname and from which the further development of the country started. The fortress became the headquarters of the museum in 1972. However, in 1982, after the 1980 military coup d’état, the museum was forced to leave its accommodations. That situation of banishment lasted until 1995, when the museum finally reopened its doors after a major renovation. Since 2002, Fort Zeelandia is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.