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Antananarivo
Tananarive
Antananarivo at sunset, March 2005
Nickname(s): Tana
Location of Antananarivo in Madagascar
Country Madagascar
Founded 1625
Government
 - Mayor disputed
Area
 - Water 88 km2 (34 sq mi)
Elevation 1,276 m (4,186 ft)
Population (2001 estimate)
 - City 903,450
 - Density 10,266.5/km2 (26,590.1/sq mi)
 - Urban 1,403,449
Time zone East African Time (GMT+3)

Antananarivo (pronounced /ˌtəˌnænəˈriːv/ or /ˌtəˌnɑːnəˈriːv/, French: Tananarive) is the capital and largest city in Madagascar. It is also known by its French colonial shorthand form Tana.

The larger urban area surrounding the city, known as Antananarivo-Renivohitra ("Antananarivo-Capital"), is the capital of the Analamanga region and of the Antananarivo autonomous province.

Contents

Location

Antananarivo is situated in the center of the island length-wise, and 145 km (90 miles) away from the eastern coast. The city occupies a commanding position, being built on the summit and slopes of a long and narrow rocky ridge, which extends north and south for about 4 km (2 mi) and rising at its highest point to about 200 m (660 ft) above the extensive rice plain to the west, although the town is at about 1,275 m (4,183 ft) above sea level. It is Madagascar's largest city and is its administrative, communications, and economic center. The city is located 215 km (134 mi) west-southwest of Toamasina, the principal seaport of the island, with which it is connected by railway, and for about 100 km (62 mi) along the coastal lagoons.

Antananarivo is served by Ivato Airport.

History

Queen's Palace, Rova of Antananarivo (1898)
A theater in Antananarivo around 1905

Unlike most capital cities in southern Africa, Antananarivo was already a major city before the colonial era. The city was founded circa 1625 by King Andrianjaka and takes its name (the City of the Thousand) from the number of soldiers assigned to guard it. For many years it was the principal village of the Hova chiefs and gained importance as those chiefs made themselves sovereigns of the greater part of Madagascar, eventually becoming a town of some 80,000 inhabitants.

In 1793 Antananarivo was made the capital of the Merina kings. The conquests of King Radama I made it the capital of almost all of Madagascar. The royal residence of the monarchs was set up at the Rova of Antananarivo. Until 1869 all buildings within the city proper were of wood or rushes, but even then it possessed several timber palaces of considerable size, the largest being 120 ft (37 m) high. These crown the summit of the central portion of the ridge; and the largest palace, with its lofty roof and towers, is the most conspicuous object from every point of view.

Since the introduction of stone and brick, the entire city has been rebuilt and now contains numerous European-style structures, including the royal palaces, the houses formerly belonging to the prime minister and nobles, the French residency, the Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals, and several stone churches. Museum of Ethnology and Paleontology is located in the city.

Present day

A busy street in Antananarivo

The city was captured by the French in 1895 and incorporated into their Madagascar protectorate. After the French conquest of Madagascar when the city had a population of some 100,000, it was extensively remodelled as the population grew to 175,000 by 1950. Roads were constructed throughout the city, broad flights of steps connecting places too steep for the formation of carriage roads, and the central space, called Andohalo, was enhanced with walks, terraces, flower-beds and trees. Water, previously obtained from springs at the foot of the hill, was brought from the Ikopa River, which skirts the capital to the south and west.

After independence in 1960 the pace of growth increased rapidly. The city's population reached 1.4 million by the end of the 20th century. Industries include food products, cigarettes, and textiles.

The city is guarded by two forts built on hills to the east. Including an Anglican and a Roman Catholic cathedral (this is the see city of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Antananarivo), there are more than 5,000 churches in the city and its suburbs, built in 2008. Antananarivo hosts a campus of the University of Madagascar and the Collège Rural d'Ambatobe. Ivato Airport serves the city with several regional routes and flights to and from Paris, Johannesburg and Nairobi among other cities.

Michele Ratsivalaka[1] succeeded Andry Rajoelina as mayor, who replaced Marc Ravalomanana as president during the 2009 Malagasy political crisis.

Climate

Antananarivo has a temperate climate. Under the Koppen climate classification, Antananarivo features a Subtropical highland climate. Owing to its high elevation of 1,300 meters to 1,400 meters above sea level, the city is known for its mild climate. Antananarivo receives practically all of its average annual 1.4 meters (55 in) of rainfall between November and April. The dry season is pleasant and sunny, although somewhat chilly, especially during the nights, and in the mornings and evenings. Although frosts are rare in Antananarivo, they are common at higher elevations. Antanarivo seldom exceeds 26 degrees Celsius even during the warmest part of the year.

Weather data for Antananarivo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33
(91)
32
(90)
31
(88)
31
(88)
29
(84)
27
(81)
27
(81)
29
(84)
33
(91)
35
(95)
34
(93)
33
(91)
35
(95)
Average high °C (°F) 26
(79)
26
(79)
26
(79)
24
(75)
23
(73)
21
(70)
20
(68)
21
(70)
23
(73)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
24
(75)
Average low °C (°F) 16
(61)
16
(61)
16
(61)
14
(57)
12
(54)
10
(50)
9
(48)
9
(48)
11
(52)
12
(54)
14
(57)
16
(61)
13
(55)
Record low °C (°F) 12
(54)
11
(52)
11
(52)
7
(45)
4
(39)
1
(34)
3
(37)
2
(36)
3
(37)
6
(43)
6
(43)
11
(52)
1
(34)
Precipitation mm (inches) 300
(11.81)
279
(10.98)
178
(7.01)
53
(2.09)
18
(0.71)
8
(0.31)
8
(0.31)
10
(0.39)
18
(0.71)
61
(2.4)
135
(5.31)
287
(11.3)
1,355
(53.35)
Source: BBC Weather [2] 2009-09-09

Sister cities

Antananarivo seen from the North-East

References

Gallery

External links

Coordinates: 18°56′S 47°31′E / 18.933°S 47.517°E / -18.933; 47.517

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Africa : East Africa : Madagascar : Antananarivo

Antananarivo (AN-tan-AN-ah-REEV-oo) (City of a Thousand), also known as Tana, is the capital of Madagascar.

Get in

Antananarivo is the main entry point for Madagascar and travel to the capital is covered in the main Madagascar page.

By plane

Ivato Airport is the Antananarivo's major airport and it is serviced by Air Austral, Air Mauritius, Interair South Africa, and Air Madagascar. Arrival at the Ivato A irport in Tana is fairly scary for those used to US or European airports. First, you need to buy a visa using Euros or US dollars, and dealing with immigration folks, wherever they are, is always stressful. Once you get past baggage claim, the fun really starts as you are descended upon by a mass of "entrepreneurs" offering assistance with your luggage to the waiting taxis, in return for a gratuity of course. This may be helpful to some, but others may find the presence of the "Skycaps a la Tana" a little distracting as they try to change money at the airport bank (which you have to do, since the Madagascar Ariary is not a convertible currency).

Get around

There are three main methods of navigating the capital: taxi, bus and on foot. Most tourists tend to use taxis as they are very practical. Make sure you agree the rate with the driver before entering the taxi. Also, be aware that traffic tends to be heavy in Analakely (Antananrivo's center and busiest area) during typical rush hour times. If you are comfortable being squeezed onto a van with other people, the buses, or 'taxi be', are the most affordable form of transportation, with prices usually ranging from 1,000 fmg to 2,000 fmg (Compared to 25,000 fmg or more for a typical taxi ride). However, tourists are not usually familiar with taxi be routes. While the city is quite large, Analakely is fairly navigable on foot.

See

There's no point being kind about this - there really is no tourist infrastructure to speak of in Antananarivo - for some folks that is part of the attraction!

  • Rova (Queen's palace). A cab ride (or very long walk) from the hotel district, but be warned that it has been severely fire damaged by suspected arson in the late 1990s, and only the stone shell remains, together with some outbuildings, statues and a Chapel (the latter rebuilt with American money). In 2005 visitors were paying a small entry fee to a kiosk and then being semi-officially "hijacked" by native Tana guides (usually University students with good English or French) who give a good account of the Rova's features in return for a gratuity.
  • Prime Minister's Palace ,near the Rova. In 2005, the situation here was even more uncertain, the Palace appeared to be closed, but a freelance guide let visitors in and gave a comprehensive account of the historical artifacts which were on show, again in return for a gratuity.

Buy

Go to the open air markets for all of the crafts.

  • La Table de Mariette, 11 rue George-V-Faravohitra, + 261 20 22 216 02.  editThis is a good choice for high quality Malagasy food. More expensive than many other restaurants.
  • Hotel Colbert, 29 Rue Prince Ratsimamanga, + 261 20-222-0202 ().  edit
  • Ile Bourbon. Reunionaise cuisine at
  • La Brasserie at the France Hotel, 34 Ave de l'Independence.  editVery good and inexpensive. Try the calamari.
  • Grill De Rova, Near Palace de Rova. Small Menu. Great Zebu!  edit
  • Ku de Ta, 16 rue de la Reunion, + 261 20 22 281 54.  editA relatively new and a slick setting for excellent French influenced Malagasy food.
  • Cookie Soph.  editFrench and English is spoken here. Good cappucino, milkshakes, and bagels.
  • Lots of bottled water (no tap water!) and Fanta in the glass bottles!
  • THB (Three Horses Beer). Multi-awarded beer.
  • Madagascar wine - variable but so much cheaper than the alternative (imported French wine).
  • Bonbon Anglais - some version of the lemonade with a specific taste, similar to South American Inka Cola. Excellent if you mix it with a little bit of THB
  • betsa-betsa - alcohol made from coconut water. Stronger than beer but not quite as potent as hard liquor.
  • Litchel (or Vin Litchi in French) - lychee wine. Some brands are off-dry and quite nice, others are sickeningly sweet.

Sleep

Budget

There are many cheaper hotels.and scrapas

  • Sakamanga, [1]. A good mid-range option. Very popular, so book ahead.
  • Karibotel (boulevard independence) good alternative for Sakamange. More locals than tourists (€40,00 for double)
  • La Ribaudière, [2]. A good mid-range option. Very popular, good restaurant.
  • Le Logis, [3]. Résidence Hôtel. new
  • Le Saint-Laurent, [4]. Simple and cheap. Near historical monument.

Splurge

The two best known accommodations in the capital are the Colbert (pronounced like the Comedy Central show!) and the Carlton (formerly Hilton). However, in addition to being well known, these hotels are quite expensive, especially relative to other accommodations.

  • Hotel Colbert, [5]. French run, and situated close to the government ministries. Aid workers and French government folks will customarily stay there. There are old and new wings, the old wing is certainly inferior to the Carlton, the new wing on a par or better. The Colbert has a lovely spa, two restaurants and a coffee shop/patisserie. The efficient and knowledgeable staff will help you navigate the challenges of the city. 140 rooms.
  • Hotel Carlton, [6]. This hotel was formerly the Hilton Madagascar, and is now a member hotel within Summit Hotels & Resorts. It is not known whether the new affiliation has caused significant changes. The Carlton boasts 2 restaurants, 2 bars and an internet cafe, some rooms have nice views of the lake, and it is near the football (meaning soccer) stadium. 170 rooms.
  • Beware of dogs! Tana is loaded with stray dogs, some of whom will occasionally harass passers-by for scraps or bark, growl and chase humans off their territory. If accosted by a stray dog, look for a rock or bottle or something to throw at it, then let fly. If nothing is available start screaming and clapping your hands. If this doesn't work, run. These animals also leave their marks behind...many locals refer to Tana as "Antaybe" (place of much poop).
  • Beggars can also be a nuisance, especially groups of children. A polite but firm "Non, merci" or "Tsy misy (tsee meesh)" (add "Tompoko (toom-pook)" when speaking to anyone older than you) should do the trick. If not, shout "Mandehana! (man-day-han)" (Go Away!). Try to avoid handing out cash, candy or trinkets to children...it simply encourages more begging.
  • Don't be alarmed by taxis or vehicles with holes in the floor, springs poking out of the seats, missing mirrors or broken windows. Malagasy motor vehicles may not be much to look at and not much fun to ride in, but for the most part they run well and the engines are well-maintained.
  • The Malagasy currency was devalued recently. The former Malagasy Franc (Franc Malgache) is now obsolete. The new currency is called the Ariary (Ar-ee-ar) and is worth 5 Francs. For example, 10,000 Francs = 2000 Ariary. When negotiating a price, ALWAYS CONFIRM THE AMOUNT IN ARIARY. Many locals take advantage of tourists by simply stating the amount due without specifying the currency, so many tourists are duped into paying 5 times the actual amount due because of Franc/Ariary confusion.
  • United States, 261-20-22-212-57, [7].  edit

Get out

There is a lot of hustle and bustle but not really much for the casual tourist to do, and you run the gauntlet of aggressive beggars if you frequent the central shopping area. Also, due to the altitude, the capital is significantly colder than the coastal areas. Probably sensible to allocate no more than a couple of days to Tana.

Travel out of the capital is by two modes: road or air. Contrary to the main Madagascar article, as of 2005 there was no passenger rail service from the capital. Road transport is by bus to limited destinations, taxi-brousse (shared taxi) to a variety of destinations or by car rental (usually with driver). Although travel by taxi-brousse is guaranteed to try one's patience and sanity, there is quite possibly no better way to meet and interact with the locals and experience Madagascar as the Malagasy do. Air travel is the recommended method, due to the poor state of many roads, and Antananarivo is the hub city for the national carrier Air Madagascar. But of course air is more expensive. Recommended next stops are Morondava and/or Nosy Be.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ANTANANARIVO,' i.e. " town of a thousand" (Fr. spelling Tananarive), the capital of Madagascar, situated centrally as regards the length of the island, but only about 90 m. distant from the eastern coast, in 18° 55 S., 47° 30' E. It is 135 m. W.S.W. of Tamatave, the principal seaport of the island, with which it is connected by railway, and for about 60 m. along the coast lagoons, a service of small steamers. The city occupies a commanding position, being chiefly built on the summit and slopes of a long and narrow rocky ridge, which extends north and south for about 22 m., dividing to the north in a Y-shape, and rising at its highest point to 690 ft. above the extensive rice plain to the west, which is itself 4060 ft. above sea-level. For long only the principal village of the Hova chiefs, Antananarivo advanced in importance as those chiefs made themselves sovereigns of the greater part of Madagascar, until it became a town of some 80,000 inhabitants. Until 1869 all buildings within the city proper were of wood or rush, but even then it possessed several timber palaces of considerable size, the largest being 120 f t. high. These crown the summit of the central portion of the ridge; and the largest palace, with its lofty roof and towers, is the most conspicuous object from every point of view. Since the introduction of stone and brick, the whole city has been rebuilt and now contains numerous structures of some architectural pretension, the royal palaces, the houses formerly belonging to the prime minister and nobles, the French residency, the Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals, several stone churches, as well as others of brick, colleges, schools, hospitals, courts of justice and other government buildings, and hundreds of good dwellinghouses. Since the French conquest in 1895 good roads have been constructed throughout the city, broad flights of steps connect places too steep for the formation of carriage roads, and the central space, called Andohalo, has become a handsome place, with walks and terraces, flower-beds and trees. A small park has been laid out near the residency, and the planting of trees and the formation of gardens in various parts of the city give it a bright and attractive appearance. Water is obtained from springs at the foot of the hill, but it is proposed to bring an abundant supply from the river Ikopa, which skirts the capital to the south and west. The population, including that of the suburbs, is 69,000 (1907). The city is guarded by two forts built on hills to the east and south-west respectively. Including an Anglican and a Roman Catholic cathedral, there are about fifty churches in the city and its suburbs, as well as a Mahommedan mosque. (J. Si.*)


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Proper noun

Singular
Antananarivo

Plural
-

Antananarivo

  1. The capital city of Madagascar

Translations


Romanian

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Romanian Wikipedia has an article on:
Antananarivo

Wikipedia ro

Proper noun

Antananarivo

  1. Antananarivo

Simple English

Antananarivo
Tananarive
Nickname(s): Tana
Coordinates: 18°56′19″S 47°31′17″E / 18.93861°S 47.52139°E / -18.93861; 47.52139
Country Madagascar
Founded 1625
Population (2001 census)
 - Total 1,403,449
Area code(s) + 261 (Madagascar) + 22

Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar. It is the largest city in the country.

Contents

Uses

The city is the administrative, communications and economic center of Madagascar.

Trivia

Antananarivo has a population of over 1.4 million people. Including an Anglican cathedral and a Roman Catholic cathedral, there are about fifty churches in the city and its suburbs. There is also a Muslim mosque. Antananarivo is home of the University of Madagascar and the Collège Rural d'Ambatobe.

History

Antananarivo was founded in about 1625 by King Andrianjaka. The name, Antananarivo, means the City of the Thousand. It comes from the number of soldiers Andrianjaka used to guard the city.

Until 1869 all buildings in the city were of wood or rushes. Since the introduction of stone and brick, the whole city has been rebuilt. It now has many notable structures. For example, the royal palaces, the Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals, several stone and brick churches, colleges, schools, hospitals, courts of justice and other government buildings.

The city was captured by the French in 1895. Since then, good roads have been built in the city.

Other websites

Antananarivo Renivohitra Official website.


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