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The Palmentiun and the Tallest Wooden Structure in the Americas

January 19, 2016

by Nicole
At anchor, Little Bay, Montserrat

Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral in Paramaribo, Suriname is the tallest wooden structure in the western hemisphere. This Roman Catholic cathedral was built in 1885, with the towers completed in 1901, but the gate itself is over 200 years old. It is 194 feet long, 54 feet wide, and 144 feet to the highest point. There is space for about 900 people at once.

There are three bells located in the west tower. The smallest bell, Alfhonsus, weighs 489 pounds. The middle bell, Rosa, weighs 910 pounds, and the largest bell, John, weighs 1814 pounds. There is also a pipe organ in the church. Made in Germany, it used to have 1500 pipes. Now, there are fewer due to people stealing them.

While driving around Paramaribo, we visited the Palmentiun, a public Royal Palm garden . It is cool and silent in the garden, and the towering trees give off a magical feel. The governor of Suriname opened it in 1685. On holidays there are stalls with people selling things. We weren’t there on a holiday, but I would rather be there when no one else was. It was a beautiful place that felt really magical.

Here are more photos of the Cathedral and the Palm Garden: 

It's all wood.

This tree was still alive and thriving even though it had fallen over long ago.
The garden had a cool park with an old-fashioned teeter-totters.
The perfect spot to contemplate the meaning of life.