Antananarivo, Madagascar

By | November 27, 2021

According to abbreviationfinder, Antananarivo is the capital and largest city of Madagascar, and is also the capital of the province of the same name. It is located in the center of the island. It has a population of 1,403,449 residents, made up mainly of the Merino ethnic group. It is a modern city, which is also the main administrative, economic, demographic and judicial center of Madagascar.


The capital of Madagascar was founded in 1625 with the name of Tananarive and in 1797 it became the capital of the Merina kingdoms. Later King Radaza I turned the city, thanks to his conquests, into the capital of the entire island. In 1895 itsuffered the French occupation and joined the Malagasy protectorate, it was during this time that many of its public buildings were built


Antananarivo is built on a granite rock and surrounded by twelve hills, which dominate the plains of the Betsimitatra and the Laniera.


Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar, the largest island in Africa, located off the southeast of the continent. The city is located in the center of the island, although closer to the eastern coast


The climate of Antananarivo is temperate: the average temperature is between 24 and 26 degrees, although in the high areas it drops to 18.


Known as Tana, Antananarivo is the largest city in the country, it has a population of 1,403,449 residents, composed mainly of the Merino ethnic group. See population of Madagascar.

Economic development

Antananarivo is currently the economic and communications center of the country. The main industries are tobacco and weaving, as well as industrialized food and leather goods. Agricultural crops and livestock farming on the outskirts of the city are also important.

Tourist attractions

The most prominent monument is the Palace of Queen Ranavalona I, the main residence of the former rulers of Madagascar. The Palace is built on top of a hill, overlooking the entire city. The Analakely neighborhood and Independence Square are other places of interest.

Lake Anosy is well worth a visit, especially when the surrounding Jacaranda trees are in bloom. There are huge gardens of giant palms throughout the city.

The Tsimbazaza Zoo and Botanical Park is a must-see: there are lemurs, including an aye-aye, as well as a wide variety of birds, reptiles, and plants. The Malagasy Academy Museum, also on the zoo grounds, offers natural and cultural displays, including funerary art. The Rova, the queen’s palace, is the highest place in Tana, from which there are views of the entire city.

The most popular excursion from Tana is the Ambohimanga (Blue Hill), located 21 kilometers north of Tana. It was the original capital of the Merino royal family, and when it ceased to be, it remained a sacred place. The surrounding landscapes are astonishing and resemble views of the Kathmandu valley.


The capital of Madagascar is divided into two quite different areas, the upper part and the lower part, the latter much more alive than the first, but all of it abound with palaces and religious buildings. In the upper part is the Rova, a fortified citadel dating from the beginning of the 12th century in which there are royal tombs and traditional palaces. The four brownstone towers of the Palace of Queen Ranavalona I dominate the city. On the other hand, in the Palacio de Plata you can see beautiful royal frescoes with popular images. In the Manampisoa, Historical Museum, numerous jewels are exhibited, furniture, dishes and umbrellas.

Already in the lower part, the most outstanding areas are undoubtedly the Lastelle staircase, which ascends the Ambatonakanga rock to reach the Independence Square and The great popular market of Tana (held on Fridays) is the Zoma, a market full of color that on Fridays expands remarkably until it occupies practically the entire center of the city.

The houses in this city are quite spacious, with terracotta roofs and ornate wooden balconies. Between the houses there are numerous churches, as well as a Muslim mosque

The city is sheltered by two fortresses built on the hills to the east and southwest, respectively. They include an Anglican and a Roman Catholic cathedral.

Antananarivo is home to the University of Madagascar and the Rural College of Ambatobe.

The official languages are Malagasy and French, although some local dialects are also spoken.


The handicraft products that can be found in Antananarivo are embroidery and clothing, stationery made from “Antaimoro” paper, carved wood products (precious woods such as ebony, rosewood and rosewood are used), marquetry, zebu horn products and basketry.. In recent years, artisan associations have been created that have regularized and dignified the activity. The Zoma Market is the best to buy these products.

The Zafimaniry Woodcraft, an intangible cultural heritage proclaimed by UNESCO in 2003.

Holidays and traditions

In addition to the holidays of the Christian calendar, the Malagasy New Year is celebrated in the month of March, and also the Day of the Insurrection (March 29), the Day of the Organization of African Unity (May 25), the Day Anniversary (May 8) and Republic Day (December 30).

The traditional oratory, called “kabary”, is still highly esteemed by the population.

Transport and communication

The city is connected by road with other important cities in the country such as Toamasina. It also has railroad tracks and the Ivato International Airport, which is the most important in the country, through which domestic flights are made with different regions of Madagascar, as well as international flights to Paris, Johannesburg, Nairobi and other major cities in the region. African continent.

Illustrious people

Claude Simon, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1985, was born in Antananarivo.

Antananarivo, Madagascar