Maimaimpoana ireo tranonkala mampiaraka Antananarivo Madagaskar

Several national and local sports teams, including the championship-winning national rugby team, the Makis are based here. Antananarivo was historically the capital of the Merina people , who continue to form the majority of the city's 1,, Census [2] inhabitants. The surrounding urban areas have a total metropolitan population approaching three million.

All eighteen Malagasy ethnic groups , as well as residents of Chinese , Indian , European and other origins, are represented in the city. It was founded circa , when the Merina King Andrianjaka — expelled the Vazimba inhabitants of the village of Analamanga. Declaring it the site of his capital, Andrianjaka built a rova fortified royal dwelling that expanded to become the royal palaces of the Kingdom of Imerina.

The city retained the name Analamanga until the reign of King Andriamasinavalona — , who renamed it Antananarivo "City of the Thousand" in honor of Andrianjaka's soldiers. The city served as the capital of the Kingdom of Imerina until , when Imerina split into four warring quadrants. Antananarivo became the capital of the southern quadrant until , when King Andrianampoinimerina of Ambohimanga captured the province and restored it as capital of a united Kingdom of Imerina, also bringing neighboring ethnic groups under Merina control.

These conquests continued under his son, Radama I , who eventually controlled over two-thirds of the island, leading him to be considered the King of Madagascar by European diplomats. Antananarivo remained the island's capital after Madagascar was colonized by the French in , and after independence in The city is now managed by the Commune Urbaine d'Antananarivo CUA under the direction of its President of the Special Delegation , Ny Havana Andriamanjato, appointed in March Limited funds and mismanagement have hampered consecutive CUA efforts to manage overcrowding and traffic, waste management, pollution, security, public water and electricity, and other challenges linked to explosive population growth.

Major historic landmarks and attractions in the city include the reconstructed royal palaces and the Andafiavaratra Palace , the tomb of Rainiharo , Tsimbazaza Zoo , Mahamasina Stadium , Lake Anosy , four 19th-century martyr churches , and the Museum of Art and Archaeology.

Antananarivo was originally the site of a town called Analamanga , meaning "Blue Forest" in the Central Highlands dialect of the Malagasy language.

Merina King Andrianjaka , who migrated to the region from the southeast coast, seized the location as the site of his capital city. According to oral history, he deployed a garrison of 1, soldiers to successfully capture and guard the site. Antananarivo was already a major city before the colonial era. After expelling the Vazimba who inhabited the town at the peak of Analamanga hill, Andrianjaka chose the site for his rova fortified royal compound , which expanded over time to enclose the royal palaces and the tombs of Merina royalty.

Early Merina kings used fanampoana statute labor to construct a massive system of irrigated paddy fields and dikes around the city to provide adequate rice for the growing population. These paddy fields, of which the largest is called the Betsimitatatra, continue to produce rice. Successive Merina sovereigns ruled over the Kingdom of Imerina from Analamanga through King Andriamasinavalona's reign. This sovereign gave the growing city its current name; he established the Andohalo town square outside the town gate, where all successive sovereigns delivered their royal speeches and announcements to the public, and assigned the names of numerous locations within the city based on the names of similar sites in the nearby village of Antananarivokely.

These territorial divisions were strictly enforced; members of subcastes were required to live within their designated territories and were not authorized to stay for extended periods in the territories reserved for others. Upon Andriamasinavalona's death in , Imerina split into four warring quadrants, and Antananarivo was made the capital of the southern district. He moved the kingdom's political capital back to Antananarivo in , [15] and declared Ambohimanga the kingdom's spiritual capital, a role it still maintains. By the time Andrianampoinimerina's son Radama I had ascended the throne upon his father's death in , Antananarivo was the largest and most economically important city on the island, with a population of over 80, inhabitants.

Radama's subjugation of other Malagasy ethnic groups brought nearly two-thirds of the island under his control. The British diplomats who concluded trade treaties with Radama recognized him as the "ruler of Madagascar", a position he and his successors claimed despite never managing to impose their authority over the larger portion of the island's south. Thereafter, Merina sovereigns declared Antananarivo the capital of the entire island. Radama's successor Ranavalona I invited a shipwrecked craftsman named Jean Laborde to construct the tomb of Prime Minister Rainiharo , and Manjakamiadana built — , the largest palace at the Rova.

Laborde also produced a wide range of industrial products at factories in the highland village Mantasoa and a foundry in the Antananarivo neighborhood Isoraka. Termed the trano gasy "Malagasy house" , it is typically a two-story, brick building with four columns on the front that support a wooden veranda.


In the latter third of the 19th century, these houses quickly replaced most of the traditional wooden houses of the city's aristocratic class. Until the mid 19th century, the city remained largely concentrated around the Rova of Antananarivo on the highest peak, an area today referred to as la haute ville or la haute "upper town". As the population grew, the city expanded to the west; by the late 19th century it extended to the northern hilltop neighborhood of Andohalo, an area of low prestige until British missionaries made it their preferred residential district and built one of the city's memorial churches here from to In , he reinstated mandatory universal education first introduced in under Radama I, requiring the construction of numerous schools and colleges, including teacher training colleges staffed by missionaries and the nation's first pharmacy, medical college, and modern hospital.

The French military invaded Antananarivo in September , prompting the queen's surrender after a cannon shell blasted a hole through a building at the Rova, causing major casualties. The damage was never repaired.

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Andohalo square was remodeled to feature a gazebo, walkways, and planted landscaping. Claiming the island as a colony, the French administration retained Antananarivo as its capital and transcribed its name as Tananarive. Under the French, tunnels were constructed through two of the city's largest hills, connecting disparate districts and facilitating the town's expansion.

Streets were laid with cobblestones and later paved; sewer systems and electricity infrastructure were introduced. Water, previously obtained from springs at the foot of the hill, was brought from the Ikopa River. This period saw a major expansion of la ville moyenne , which spread along the lower hilltops and slopes of the city centered around the French residency. Modern urban planning was applied in la ville basse "lower town" , which expanded from the base of the city's central hills into the surrounding rice fields.

Major boulevards like Avenue de l'Indépendance , planned commercial areas like the arcades lining either side of the avenue, large parks, city squares, and other landmark features were built.


The city expanded rapidly after World War II ; [31] by its population had grown to , Roads connecting Antananarivo to surrounding towns were expanded and paved. The first international airport was constructed at Arivonimamo , 45 km 28 mi outside the city; this was replaced in with Ivato International Airport approximately 15 km 9 mi from the city center. The University of Antananarivo was constructed in the Ankatso neighborhood and the Museum of Ethnology and Paleontology was also built.

A city plan written in created suburban zones where large houses and gardens were established for the wealthy. In , severe floods in la ville basse prompted the building of large scale embankments along the edges of the Betsimitatatra rice fields and the establishment of new ministerial complexes on newly drained land in the Anosy neighborhood.

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After independence in , the pace of growth increased further. The city's population reached 1. Antananarivo is the see city of Madagascar's Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

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  6. The city has repeatedly been the site of large demonstrations and violent political clashes, including the rotaka that brought down President Philibert Tsiranana and the Malagasy political crisis , which resulted in Andry Rajoelina replacing Marc Ravalomanana as head of state. Antananarivo is situated approximately 1, m 4, ft above sea level in the Central Highlands region of Madagascar, at It is  km 99 mi from the east coast and  km  mi from the west coast.

    The city occupies a commanding position on the summit and slopes of a long, narrow, rocky ridge extending north and south for about 4 km 2 mi and rising to about  m  ft above the extensive rice fields to the west. The official boundaries of the city of Antananarivo encompass an urban area of approximately The city gradually spread out from this central point to cover the hillsides; by the late 19th century it had expanding to the flat terrain at the base of the hills.

    These plains are susceptible to flooding during the rainy season; they are drained by the Ikopa River, which skirts the capital to the south and west. The western slopes and plains, being best protected from cyclone winds originating over the Indian Ocean, were settled before those to the east. Greater Antananarivo is a continuous, urbanized area spreading beyond the city's official boundaries for 9 km 5. Under the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system , Antananarivo has a subtropical highland climate with dry season defined Cwb [39] characterized by mild, dry winters and warm, rainy summers.

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    Frosts are rare in the city; they are more common at higher elevations. Daily mean temperatures range from Antananarivo encompasses three ridges that intersect at their highest point. The Manjakamiadana royal palace is located at the summit of these hills and is visible from every part of the city and the surrounding hills.

    The Manjakamiadina was the largest structure within the rova of Antananarivo; its stone casing is the only remnant of the royal residences that survived a fire at the site. For 25 years, the roofless shell dominated the skyline; its west wall collapsed in It is illuminated at night. Conservation and reconstruction work at the site is ongoing. More recent residential and commercial buildings and family rice fields occupy lower terrain throughout the capital. The Betsimitatatra and other rice fields surround the city.

    The city's neighborhoods emerge from historic ethnic, religious and caste divisions. The assignment of certain neighborhoods to particular noble sub-castes under the Kingdom of Imerina established divisions; the highest ranking nobles were typically assigned to neighborhoods closest to the royal palace and were required to live in higher elevation portions of the city.

    Today, the haute ville is mainly residential and viewed as a prestigious area in which to live; many of the city's wealthiest and most influential Malagasy families live there. Under the Kingdom of Madagascar, the commoner class hova settled at the periphery of the noble districts, [45] gradually spreading along the slopes of the lower hills during the late 19th century. This ville moyenne became increasingly populous under French colonial authority, which targeted them for redesign and development.

    Today, the neighborhoods in the ville moyenne are densely populated and lively, containing residences, historic sites, and businesses. The neighborhood of Antaninarenina contains the historic Hôtel Colbert, numerous jewelers' shops and other luxury goods stores, and administrative offices. In addition to Antaninarenina, the principal neighborhoods of la ville moyenne are Ankadifotsy on the eastern hills and Ambatonakanga and Isoraka to the west, all of which are largely residential.

    Isoraka also houses the tomb of Prime Minister Rainiharo — , whose sons and later Prime Ministers Rainivoninahitriniony and Rainilaiarivony are buried with him. The commercial center of town, Analakely, is located on the valley floor between these two ville moyenne hill ranges. The Avenue de l'Indépendance runs from the gardens of Ambohijatovo south of the market pavilions, through Analakely to the city's railroad station at Soarano. To the west of Soarano lies the dense commercial district of Tsaralalana; it is the only district to be built on a grid [46] and is the center of the city's South Asian community.


    Antanimena borders Soarano and Behoririka to the north. A tunnel built by the French in the early 20th century cuts through the hillside; it connects Ambohijatovo with Ambanidia and other residential areas in the south of the city. Since pre-colonial times the lower classes, including those descended from the slave class andevo and rural migrants, have occupied the flood-prone lower districts bordering the Betsimitatatra rice fields to the west of the city.

    The tunnel opens toward Lake Anosy and the national Supreme Court buildings, and provides access to the residential neighborhood of Mahamasina and its stadium. The bordering neighborhood of Anosy was developed in the s to house most of the national ministries and the Senate. In these areas, houses are more vulnerable to fires, flooding and landslides, which are often triggered by the annual cyclone season.

    Before the midth century, all houses and marketplaces in Antananarivo, and throughout Madagascar, were constructed of woods, grasses, reeds, and other plant-based materials viewed as appropriate for structures used by the living. Only family tombs were built from stone, an inert material viewed as appropriate to use for the dead. British missionaries introduced brick-making to the island in the s, and French industrialist Jean Laborde used stone and brick to build his factories over the next few decades.

    It was not until the royal edict on construction materials was lifted in the s that stone was used to encase the royal palace. Many aristocrats, inspired by the royal palace and the two-story, brick houses with wrapped verandas and divided interior spaces built by British missionaries, copied the British model for their own large homes in the haute ville.

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