Suriname-Rivier – Nieuw Amsterdam, Suriname - Atlas Obscura

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Nieuw Amsterdam, Suriname

An old Dutch lightvessel is now stuck in a dock near the mouth of the Suriname River. 


The country of Suriname was once the only Dutch colony in South America and the main fortification here was Fort Nieuw-Amsterdam, located near the city of Paramaribo at the mouth of the Suriname River.

In 1911, the newly-built Suriname-Rivier ship sailed from Haarlem, in the Netherlands to reach Fort Nieuw-Amsterdam after a 40-day-long journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Once at its destination the ship, not equipped with engines, was used as a lightvessel to mark the position of the mouth of the Suriname River. It operated not only as a lighthouse, but also as a base of operations to coordinate naval traffic in the area. The 82 foot (25-meter-long) ship was used until 1968 and finally decommissioned in 1972.

After ending its service, the ship was moved to the Fort Nieuw-Amsterdam Open-Air Museum in 1978 and is now permanently berthed in a wet dock inside the fortress. The lightvessel stands abandoned and is now in a state of disrepair. However, efforts are being made to raise money to restore the ship to its former glory.

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