Jewish city tours,
Local & Cultural Experiences + Identity
Travel advice by locals for Jewish travelers
in Central & South America and Worldwide

Description

Address: Zeelandiaweg 7-Fort Zeelandia
Phonenumber: (597)421975/(597)8898982 Fax: (597)422077
Link: www.jodensavanne.sr.org
Mail: [email protected]

In 1669, the Dutch David Nassy granted the right to establish a Jewish colony that was later known as Jodensavanne (Jewish Savannah).

Jodensavanne became the pillar of the Jewish community of Suriname.

In 1694, the Jewish community had grown to around 570 people, and developed many sugar plantations. On 10 September 1832 a fire swept through the town and reduced all the houses to ash, including the 147-year-old synagogue.

The cemetery with its marble tombstones imported from Europe is a testimony to the riches of the community and was considered to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in South America.

There are 462 tombstones from a total of 900 burials in the cemetery that have been discovered and cleaned off the rainforest, and offering a beautiful natural setting for the cemetery.
The oldest grave dates back to 1683 while the most recent one is from 1873.

Most of the existing tombstones were made from marble, lime stone, blue and brown stone that was imported from Italy, engraved in Amsterdam and sent to Suriname.

The poor members of the community who could not afford the stone were given wooden tombstones.

Through the centuries, these wooden structures have decomposed and the tombs are not marked today. The inscriptions are in Hebrew, Portuguese, Spanish, Aramaic and Dutch.

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