Paramaribo, population 222,843 (1996), is the capital of Suriname. The city is located on the Suriname River, approximately ten miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. Paramaribo exports bauxite, sugar cane, rice, cacao, coffee, rum, and tropical woods. The city manufactures cement, paint, and beer.
The area was settled by the British in 1630, and in 1650 the city became the capital of the new English colony. The area changed hands often between the British and Dutch but finally came under Dutch rule in 1815. The citizens are chiefly of Asian Indian, indigenous, African, and Dutch descent.
Paramaribo has a museum, a cathedral, and canals that are reminiscent of the Netherlands.