History, access and protection of the kampong of Mariënburg

History, access and protection of the kampong of Mariënburg

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This master's thesis highlights some possibilities for halting the decay of the kampong of Mariënburg and thus improving the living conditions of its residents. The kampong arose during the expansion of the adjacent plantation and factory, established by the Dutch Trading Company (NHM). The first Javanese in Suriname were employed in Mariënburg and remain to this day the largest population group. The culture, which the migrants brought with them from Indonesia, possesses a number of unique characteristics that can help revitalize the neighborhood.

In this thesis, the focus is on the kampong, not on the remnants of the factory. It is important to highlight the history of the kampong because it is the only part of the site that, although also in decline, is still actively in use and alive. The history of the factory will be included in this study where appropriate, as the two can never be separated.

Today, very diverse barrack typologies can be found in the kampong. They vary in size and shape, but are always wood constructions with a zinc roof. Currently, many people are converting these barracks into modern homes made of stone, so the homes with heritage value are disappearing. However, this way of building is not always an ideal solution in the tropics, given the high temperatures. Moreover, it is possible to design a house with a historic view in which the residents can live in all modern comforts. In this way, the original rhythm of similar houses, which characterized the neighborhood, can be restored.

Next to that, it is also important that the wooden barracks are preserved for future generations. Therefore, in this master thesis, protection proposals were formulated for the best-preserved barracks of Mariënburg and the related kampongs of Zoelen and Belwaarde. The same was done for the exceptionally well-preserved kampong of Alliance.

Furthermore, this master thesis also explores the potential of tourism for the development of the site. Some plantations in the area have been successfully converted into tourist attractions. A new type of tour, aimed at cultural tourists, is proposed.

  • Authors:
    • Martijn Willems

    • Dirk Laporte (Promotor)
    • Johan De Walsche (Co-promotor)
  • Period:
    • 2016 — 2017  

    • Heritage

    • Master thesis

    • Anton De Kom Universiteit van Suriname