• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Architecture of Suriname

The pre-Columbian architecture in Suriname was simple and little to no original architecture from this time period remains. Most of the buildings were houses and were constructed of wood and other natural materials that break down over time. Despite the fact that no original houses exist, there can still be houses found in these traditional styles inland. Most were built off the ground on stilts or in trees in order to prevent flooding.

With the arrival of Europeans, particularly the British and Dutch, the architecture in Suriname changed. New structures, such as churches were introduced as were new building techniques and styles, but the building materials used changed little as wood remained the primary construction material.

The styles and designs of the buildings in Suriname became very European as Dutch and British designs dominated the landscape. The nearby Caribbean also had a slight influence on the buildings, but not nearly as much as the British and Dutch had.

The most notably piece of architecture in the country is the colonial Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul (1901) in the capital of Paramaribo. This church is the largest wooden building in the western hemisphere.

Even after the end of colonization, the styles and designs in Suriname have changed little. Most buildings are still made from wood and maintain European styles and designs. Despite this, there is a growing movement to build in the modern and post-modern styles, especially in the capital city. Among the more interesting of these structures is the Arya Dewaker Temple, which is a Hindu temple that looks and feels unlike any other Hindu temple as it lacks all imagery, but instead is covered with Hindi calligraphy. Additionally, the Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge is another impressive architectural feat in the capital, primarily due to its length, which is over 1 mile (1.5 kilometers).

This page was last updated: February, 2013