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Top 10 Places To Visit In Antananarivo

Antananarivo, Madagascar

Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar, in the island’s Central Highlands. Overlooking the city, the Rova of Antananarivo palace complex was the center of the Merina kingdom from the 17th century. It features wooden houses and royal tombs. The pink baroque Andafiavaratra Palace sits in the nearby Haute Ville neighborhood. In the city center, heart-shaped Lake Anosy is ringed by jacaranda trees.

Even if you’re only staying for a couple of days, Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo, offers some amazing historical sites well worth visiting.

Here are the Top 10 Places to Visit in Antananarivo, which are worth visiting on an Antananarivo trip:

1. The Anglican Cathedral

The Anglican mission became the owner of the district of Ambohimanoro at the end of the 19th century. The Cathedral was built in 1889 under the supervision of the architect Alfred Anker (Norway) and the engineer William White (UK). The church is constructed in a Gothic style.

2. Andohalo Place

Andohalo Place was the home of the first market of Zoma (Friday market). Before its inauguration, all official monarchic ceremonies took place in Andohalo. On October 14, 1958, the birth of the Malagasy Republic was proclaimed there.

3. The International Church of Andohalo

This was a wooden building before 1892 when Malagasy architects decided to rebuild it with red bricks. When General Galliéni became the governor of the colonial administration in Madagascar in 1897, it became home of the post office until 1903.

4. Lake Anosy

Lake Anosy is an artificial lake in the southern part of the capital city of Madagascar, Antananarivo, about 2 miles south of Haute-Ville. Ampefiloha is located to the west of the lake, Isoraka to the northwest, and Mahamasina to the north. A swamp was replaced with Lake Anosy during the era of the ruler Radama I. The lake was constructed by James Cameron who gave it a shape of a heart. In the middle of the lake, there is an island connected with the city by an isthmus.

On the island, there is a French-built memorial to those fallen in the first World war, the Monument aux Morts made by sculptor Barberis and architect Perrin in 1927. In the Radama I era, there was a gunpowder factory on the island. Later there was built a summer residence for Queen Ravanamola I.

By the lakeside there grow Jakaranda trees that flower in October and November. Great Egrets use to take a rest by the lake. By the southern shore, there are barbers' kiosks. On national independence day, June 26, an annual firework festival is arranged on the lake.

5. The Church of Ambatonakanga

At this site, a wooden building was constructed by architects James Cameron and William Pool. It received its first office in 1831. The building that stands here now was built in 1864 by James Sibree. This church is the symbol of the first use of stones in its architecture and is registered as a national heritage site.

6. The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Andohalo

Initially, the cathedral was a wooden church but was rebuilt in stone in 1890. This building was the work of Father Alphonse Taix. When Pope Jean Paul II came to Madagascar in 1989, the church was among the places he visited.

7. The Upper Town

The Upper Town is located on the hillside from Faravohitra to the Queen’s Palace and is known for its diverse architecture inspired by an eclectic mix of British and French styles. Wood-carved balconies and red-brick houses make up the colorful hillside. It also offers a captivating and stunning view from the top of the hill.

8. Prime Minister’s Palace

Built-in 1872 by the English architect William Pool, the Prime Minister’s Palace was a replacement for what was originally a wooden building. Burned to the ground but restored in 1976, it is home to a permanent exhibition of royal attributes and personal effects from the Queen’s Palace in the Rova of Antananarivo, which also burned down.

9. The Law Court of Ambatondrafandrana

This is the law court Queen Ranavalona II commissioned in 1881. Built without walls by James Parret, it is inspired by the iconic Greek Ionic style of architecture with its 16 columns.

10. The Lutheran Church of Ambatovinaky

Ambatovinaky was the first Lutheran church established in Antananarivo in 1871. Outside the church, there are some tombs of Norwegian missionaries who died during the first years of their arrival in Madagascar. The grounds offer a breathtaking view of the city.

Besides this, there is much more to explore in Antananarivo!!!

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