Meerzorg (Sranan Tongo: Ansu[2]) is a town and resort (municipality) in Suriname, located on the eastern bank of the Suriname River, directly opposite the capital Paramaribo. Its population at the 2012 census was 12,405.[1] Since 2000 it has been connected to Paramaribo by the Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge, named after the former President Jules Wijdenbosch.[3]

Meerzorg
The Arya Samaj Temple in Meerzorg (1964)
The Arya Samaj Temple in Meerzorg (1964)
Commewijne resorts.png
Map showing the resorts of Commewijne District.
  Meerzorg
Coordinates: 5°48′26″N 55°8′49″W / 5.80722°N 55.14694°W / 5.80722; -55.14694Coordinates: 5°48′26″N 55°8′49″W / 5.80722°N 55.14694°W / 5.80722; -55.14694
Country Suriname
DistrictCommewijne District
Area
 • Total1,081 km2 (417 sq mi)
Elevation
1 m (3 ft)
Population
 (2012)[1]
 • Total12,405
 • Density11/km2 (30/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-3 (AST)

HistoryEdit

Meerzorg is named after the sugar plantation Meerzorg.[2] The plantation was founded at the end of the 17th century, and was originally called Plantage Amsinck.[4] On 10 October 1712, Jacques Cassard captured the plantation for France, and threatened Paramaribo across the Suriname river. Negotiations started, and on 27 October Cassard left with ƒ747,350 (€8.1 million in 2018[5]) worth of goods and slaves.[6] To protect Paramaribo and Commewijne from future attacks, Fort Nieuw-Amsterdam was constructed, and opened in 1747.[7]

On 15 March 1907, the plantation owners announced a grand plan: a tram line would be laid between Spieringshoek and Meerzorg, the United Fruit Company would start loading bananas at a new wharf, and a steamboat ferry would connect Meerzorg with Paramaribo.[8] On 26 August 1907, the plans were cancelled, and the owner was thinking of selling the plantation.[9] In 1915, the plantation was bought by the government to be repurposed for small scale agriculture, and suburban housing projects.[10] Due to the proximity of Paramaribo, factories were built in Meerzorg.[11] In 1930, the plantation was extended by a polder, and the new land was used to grow rice.[12] Meerzorg started to grow, and by 1948 had a population of 4,000 people.[13] In 1958, the Commewijne District was expanded to include Meerzorg boosting its population.[14]

In 1931, a ferry opened between Meerzorg en Waterkant, Paramaribo,[11] but to improve access to the eastern part of Suriname, the Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge was opened on 20 May 2000, replacing the ferry. The bridge is part of the East-West Link.[15] There have been repeated calls to reopen a ferry service for bikes and pedestrians.[16] The ferry wharf has been upgraded to a touristic zone as of 2012.[17]

Meerzorg has been designated as a regional centre, and suburban area for Paramaribo, and there have been many building projects in the early 21st century. In 2006, the plan Richelieu was announced to built 4,000 houses at the location of the former plantation in corporation with the Development Bureau of the Dutch city of Amsterdam.[18]

Meerzorg was also home to the Cinema Ansoe, a unique wooden art-deco cinema, which opened on 28 November 1958.[19] As of 2013, the cinema was in a dilapidated condition with broken windows.[20]

Other settlementsEdit

The village of Laarwijk is located on the Meerzorg resort.[21]

The Brooskampers Maroons lived on plantations Rorac and Klaverblad between 1863 and 1917.[22]

Peperpot nature parkEdit

 
Peperpot Plantation house

Peperpot is a former coffee plantation located to the south of the town of Meerzorg. It is one of the oldest plantations. The exact year of founding is not known, but it was soon after 1692. The plantation remained in production until 1998.[23] The plantation has been transformed into a 700 hectares nature park, and is home to many birds and animals.[24] The nature park opened in 2009 and was financed by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Nationale Postcode Loterij.[25]

SportsEdit

The Meerzorg Stadion, a multi-purpose stadium, is located in Meerzorg near the East-West Link. The stadium is home to both SVB Hoofdklasse clubs SV Excelsior and SV Nishan 42. The stadium has a capacity of 1,300 people.[26]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Resorts in Suriname Census 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Plantage Meerzorg". Suriname Plantage (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge". Emporis. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Amsinck". Suriname.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  5. ^ "De waarde van de gulden / euro". Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  6. ^ Jan Jacob Hartsinck, Digital Library for Dutch Literature (1770). "Beschryving van Guiana, of de wilde kust in Zuid-America" (in Dutch).
  7. ^ "Geschiedenis". Fort Nieuw Amsterdam (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Bacovecultuur". Suriname: koloniaal nieuws- en advertentieblad via Delpher (in Dutch). 15 March 1907. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Bacovetram". Suriname: koloniaal nieuws- en advertentieblad via Delpher (in Dutch). 26 August 1907. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Koloniale Staten". Suriname : koloniaal nieuws- en advertentieblad via delpher (in Dutch). 12 February 1915. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  11. ^ a b "DE GESCHIEDENIS VAN MEERZORG, ZOALS BESCHREVEN IN OUDE KRANTENBERICHTEN, DEEL 1 (1915-1940)". Plantage Jaglust (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Het voorland van Meerzorg". Algemeen Handelsblad via delpher (in Dutch). 20 May 1930. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Geschiedenis van Meerzorg II". Suriname.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  14. ^ "District Commewijne" (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Infrastructuur". En Toen.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Veer bij Surinaamse hoofdstad in de pijplijn". Waterkant. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  17. ^ "Veerplein Meerzorg wordt toeristische attractie". GFC Nieuws via Nieuws Suriname (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Weinig hoop voor woningzoekenden". Parbode (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Cinema Ansoe". Surya Media (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Oude bioscopen, nieuwe bestemmingen". Dagblad Suriname (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Laarwijk Map — Satellite Images of Laarwijk". Map Landia. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  22. ^ Scholtens, Ben (1994). Bosneger en overheid in Suriname. Radboud University Nijmegen (Thesis) (in Dutch). Paramaribo: Afdeling Cultuurstudies/Minov. p. 34. ISBN 9991410155.
  23. ^ "Plantage Peperpot". Suriname Plantages (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  24. ^ "Nature Park at an old plantation". KLM. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Wat wordt Peperpot" (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  26. ^ "Meerzorg Stadion". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 May 2020.

External linksEdit