Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar, in the island’s Central Highlands. Overlooking the city, the Rova of Antananarivo palace complex was the centre 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 neighbourhood. In the city centre, heart-shaped Lake Anosy is ringed by jacaranda trees. Antananarivo, the national capital, is located in the northern portion of the Central Highlands at 1,276 m (4,186 ft) above sea level. A prominent feature of the Central Highlands is a rift valley running north to south, located east of Antananarivo and including Lac Alaotra, the largest body of water on the island.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
In the Malagasy language Antananarivo means “town of a thousand.” It received its name from King Adrianjaka (1610-1630), whom many consider the first major political leader of the Merina people. In the early 1600s he established a fort and town comprised of 1,000 soldiers and their families at the location. Antananarivo, Madagascar Culture. In Antananarivo and throughout the highlands, Merina and Betsileo families practice the famadihana, an ancestor reburial ceremony. Fifty two percent of the population have indigenous beliefs, 41 percent are Christian, and seven percent Muslim. Antananarivo has about 50 churches in the city and its suburbs, including an Anglican and a Roman Catholic cathedral, and an Islamic mosque. English, French, and Malagasy are the three official languages.
Brief City History
In the Malagasy language Antananarivo means “town of a thousand.” It received its name from King Adrianjaka (1610-1630), whom many consider the first major political leader of the Merina people. In the early 1600s he established a fort and town comprised of 1,000 soldiers and their families at the location. The area that is now Antananarivo was originally known as Analamanga (Blue Forest), and is believed to have first been populated by the Vazimba, ancestors of today’s Malagasy, about whom little is known. In 1610 a Merina (a tribal group) king named Andrianjaka conquered the region, stationed a garrison of 1000 troops to defend his new settlement, and renamed it Antananarivo, ‘Place of 1000 Warriors’. In the late 18th century Andrianampoinimerina, the unifying king, moved his capital from Ambohimanga to Antananarivo, where it became the most powerful of all the Merina kingdoms. For the next century Antananarivo was the capital of the Merina monarchs and the base from which they carried out their conquest of the rest of Madagascar. Tana remained the seat of government during the colonial era, and it was the French who gave the city centre its present form, building two great staircases to scale the city’s hills, and draining swamps and paddy fields to create present-day Analakely. In May 1929 the city was the site of the first major demonstration against the colonialists. Today the greater Antananarivo area is Madagascar’s political and economic centre.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
The Malagasy language of Malayo-Polynesian origin is generally spoken throughout the island. The official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French. Madagascar is a Francophone country, and French is spoken among the educated population of this former French colony.
Important Types of Commerce in Antananarivo
Soap, breweries, sugar, meat processing, etc., are some of the important industries in Madagascar.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Antananarivo
Brochure, website, pamphlet, business card and important business literature with Malagasy translation will impress an Antananarivo business person. Certified translation creates a legally binding record recognized by Antananarivo directories, ministries, officials, courts and academic universities and institutions. All documents should also be translated into Malagasy to be considered by the ministry of foreign affairs in the company’s country of origin, and the Belem ministry of foreign affairs.
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