FORT KYK-OVER-AL

Fort Kyk-Over-Al

Fort Kyk-Over-Al is located at the confluences of the Essequibo, Mazaruni and Cuyuni Rivers. The fort was established on a 6070 square metres (1.5 acres) island bordered by the three rivers. It was the second Dutch trading outpost in Essequibo; the first was located in Pomeroon and was established in the late 1500s.

The first outpost at the location, many historians believe was built by the Spanish but there are a few who dispute this claim and believes that it was actually built by the Portuguese . This structure was then replaced by the Dutch, circa 1616, with a permanent building and was outfitted with small guns. The outpost was named Fort ter Hoogen, after an influential Dutch businessman. The first commandeur of the fort was Adrian Groenwegel (1616-1624), who aided in the construction of the outpost.

The fort’s name was later changed to the Dutch phrase ‘Kyk-Over-Al’ which means to ‘see over all’. By 1716, Fort Kyk- Over-Al was overcrowded and new buildings for colony officials were built at other locations nearby. One example is a building built at Cartabo Point which is located at the conjunction of the Mazaruni and Cuyuni Rivers. The structure called “Huis Naby” (House Near-by) accommodated the commandeurs of the fort along with other officials. By 1739, attempts were being made to move the outpost to Flag (Fort) Island. By 1748, the fort was abandoned completely and most of the buildings were demolished.