Nieuw-Amsterdam (Suriname)

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Coordinates: 5 ° 53 ′  N , 55 ° 5 ′  W
Map: Suriname
Nieuw-Amsterdam on the map of Suriname
Basic data
Country Suriname
District Commewijne
Residents 5650  (2012)
Detailed data
Waters Suriname and Commewijne
Time zone UTC −3
Aerial photo Fort Nieuw Amsterdam 1966
Aerial photo Fort Nieuw Amsterdam 1966

Nieuw-Amsterdam ( Sranantongo : njunfoto , new fort) is the main town and resort in the Commewijne district and a former fortification in the Republic of Suriname .


Nieuw-Amsterdam was originally purely a fortification at the confluence of the Suriname and the Commewijne . The fort, designed as a pentagon with 5 bastions , was built between 1734 and 1747. The construction was considered necessary because Fort Zeelandia was too far inland and therefore offered no protection from enemy attacks for the planned plantations along the Commewijne River.

The fort was initially mostly under the command of an artillery - officer and 50 soldiers. For the maintenance of the system you had Sociëteit's - slaves .


A prison was established here from 1873, which was only abandoned in the 1960s.

In 1875 the governorate began to assign arable land around the fort to former plantation workers, because in 1873 the ten-year state supervision and work obligation of the slaves freed in 1863 had expired. In 1907 the fort was abandoned as a defensive structure. From a national defense point of view, it had lost all military value.

Village parish

On February 1, 1907, Nieuw-Amsterdam became the administrative center of the Commewijne district and the seat of the district commissioner, who moved into the house of the former commandant of the fort. The newly created agricultural area was declared a village community in 1943.

Today the population consists predominantly of Surinamians of Javanese and Indian origin. The place has 5650 inhabitants (Census 2012) and has a police station, a clinic and a primary and secondary school. There is a ferry connection between Nieuw-Amsterdam and Leonsberg, opposite, on the left bank of the Suriname. With the construction of the first bridge over the Suriname in the capital Paramaribo in 2000, Nieuw-Amsterdam and the entire area to the east were also directly developed.

open air museum

The old fortification was turned into an open-air museum in 1968 and the old fort offers a beautiful view of the confluence of the Suriname and Commewijne towards the ocean. With the establishment of the Fort Nieuw-Amsterdam ( Sofna ) Open-Air Museum Foundation on January 25, 2008, a comprehensive restoration of the museum began. The Zuiderzeemuseum in the Netherlands supported the project with an amount of 2.5 million euros.

A modern sculpture by the artist Erwin de Vries with a depiction of Alonso de Ojeda , one of the European explorers of the Suriname coast , has stood on the bank since 1962 . The bronze statue was stolen in September 2011 and has not yet been found.


  • CFA Bruijning u. J. Voorhoeve (main editor): Encyclopedie van Suriname. Elsevier , Amsterdam a. Brussel 1977, ISBN 90-10-01842-3 , pp. 428-429.

Web links

Commons : Nieuw-Amsterdam, Suriname  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files