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Paramaribo (părˌəmărˈĭbō) [key], city (1996 pop. 222,843), capital of Suriname, on the Suriname River, c.10 mi (16 km) from the Atlantic Ocean. It exports bauxite, sugarcane, rice, cacao, coffee, rum, and tropical woods. Manufactures include cement, paint, margarine, and beer. Paramaribo has a museum, a cathedral, and canals that are reminiscent of the Netherlands. It is connected with the interior by a single railroad. The area was settled by the British from Barbados in 1630, and in 1650 the city became the capital of the new English colony. Paramaribo changed hands often between the British and Dutch but finally came under Dutch rule in 1815. The inhabitants are chiefly of Asian Indian, indigenous, African, and Dutch descent.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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