24 Facts About Antananarivo


Antananarivo, known by its colonial shorthand form Tana, is the capital and largest city of Madagascar.

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Antananarivo was historically the capital of the Merina people, who continue to form the majority of the city's 1,275,207 inhabitants.

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Antananarivo became the capital of the southern quadrant until 1794, when King Andrianampoinimerina of Ambohimanga captured the province and restored it as capital of a united Kingdom of Imerina, bringing neighboring ethnic groups under Merina control.

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Antananarivo remained the island's capital after Madagascar was colonized by the French in 1897, and after independence in 1960.

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

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Antananarivo moved the kingdom's political capital back to Antananarivo in 1794, and declared Ambohimanga the kingdom's spiritual capital, a role it still maintains.

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The University of Antananarivo was constructed in the Ankatso neighborhood and the Museum of Ethnology and Paleontology was built.

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Antananarivo is the see city of Madagascar's Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

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Under the Koppen-Geiger climate classification system, Antananarivo has a subtropical highland climate with dry season defined characterized by mild, dry winters and warm, rainy summers.

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Antananarivo encompasses three ridges that intersect at their highest point.

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Since 1993, the Commune urbaine d'Antananarivo has increasingly sought to protect and restore the city's architectural and cultural heritage.

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Antananarivo has been the largest city on the island since at least the late 18th century, when its population was estimated at 15,000.

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Antananarivo increased the number of police officers on the streets, leading to a drop in crime.

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Residents of urban areas—in particular Antananarivo—have been hardest hit by economic downturns and economic policy shifts.

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The end of state subsidies, rapid inflation, higher taxes, widespread impoverishment and the decline of the middle class were especially evident in Antananarivo, as was the growing wealth of a tiny political and economic elite in the city.

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In 2007, two-thirds of Antananarivo residents had access to electricity, while ten percent of households owned a scooter, car or other motor vehicle.

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Antananarivo has two dedicated cinemas, the Rex and the Ritz, both of which were built in the colonial era.

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Sports facilities of the University of Antananarivo were used to host the official 2011 African Basketball Championship.

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Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar, and the federal governance structures, including the Senate, National Assembly, the Supreme Court and the presidential office are housed there.

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In 2019, the Mayor of the Commune Urbaine Antananarivo was inviting the City of Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia to enter into a sister relationship with the City of Antananarivo.

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Antananarivo is one of the two urban areas in Madagascar where bubonic plague is endemic.

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In 2017, Antananarivo was ranked as the 7th worst city for particulate-matter air pollution in the world.

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Antananarivo obtained funds from international donors to establish garbage collection and disposal systems, restore dilapidated infrastructure such as roads and marketplaces, and replanted public gardens.

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Antananarivo was connected by train to Toamasina to the east and Manakara to the southeast via Antsirabe and Fianarantsoa, but since 2019 passenger trains have not been operated anymore.

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