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Palais Manjakamiadana: Revealing the history of and access to this emblematic heritage site

Palais Manjakamiadana: Revealing the history of and access to this emblematic heritage site

Manjakamiadana or Queen’s Palace

Rovan i Manjakamiadana, also known as the Queen’s Palace, is a historic monument in Madagascar. It was the residence of royalty in the 19th century and is now one of the main artistic attractions in Antananarivo, the capital city.

Located at the center of a hill in downtown, Rovan i Manjakamiadana is accessible by Faravohitra cobblestone and Ambatonakanga paved road or through Mahamasina Stone Stairs. The palace was originally built in 1838 by French architect Jean Laborde under the orders of Queen Ranavalona I. It was initially made of wood but was later redesigned by British architect James Cameron with stone cladding and four towers.

In 1995, Rovan i Manjakamiadana was unfortunately destroyed by fire, and renovation works began in 2009 and are still ongoing today. The palace holds historical significance as it was once home to royal descendants such as Kings Andriamasinavalona (1675-1710) and Andrinampoinimerina (1787-1810), making it an important residence for Madagascar’s rulers.

The Royal Palace or Rova Manjakamiadana

The palace sits on the highest hill in Imerina, giving a stunning panoramic view of Antananarivo and its surroundings. It consists of a burial ground, 5 palaces, and 9 tombs.

The Tranovola

The Tranovola, also known as the “Silver House,” was the residence of Radama 1, built entirely of wood in 1820 by Louis Gros. It had multiple floors, verandas, and a steeply sloped roof. However, it was later demolished by Louis de Gros and replaced with a larger building.

The Surcroît de Beauté” is a building made by an Englishman named William Pool in 1867 for Queen Rasoherina. It has red and black corridors, balustrades, terraces, and balconies. Later on, it became a museum for the royal family in the 20th century.

The building called “the well-preserved” was built for King Andrianampoinimerina. It was used for crowning the rulers and displaying their remains. It’s a royal house with the same style as the people’s houses, just a bit larger and taller. This place used to be where Andrianjaka and Mahitsielafanjaka lived, before becoming Andrianampoinimerina’s house.

The house of Andrianampoinimerina, built in 1796, is a significant symbol of his reign. Made of rosewood walls and a thatched roof, it was his residence in Ambohimanga. This dwelling contained personal items belonging to the king as well as the beds of his twelve wives. Among these possessions was the powerful guardian fetish called Manjakatsiroa, which protected the royal family.

Transforming the Island’s Fitness Landscape

The Tranofitomiandalana, also known as “The Seven Aligned Houses,” is the resting place of seven kings who ruled Tana before Andrianampoinimerina. Their tombs were originally located to the east of Manjakamiadana but were later moved north of Tranovola by the French. This site contains the seven royal tombs and sacred stones, which are not to be touched. It is possible to renovate the tombs without relocating the remains.

Graves of the Kings

Louis Gros built a tomb for Radama 1st. In 1897, Gallieni moved the remains of Andrianampoinimerina and Radama II to this tomb. The building has a Tranomanara on top, which is a symbol of nobility placed on royal tombs. It represents a small royal clan and serves as their resting place.

The capital’s upper town

The queen’s palace is a must-see attraction in the upper town, showcasing beautiful old houses, churches, temples, and schools that reflect Malagasy culture.

Simplified English: Ambavahadimitafo – Understanding the Essential Information

– It’s one of the seven city gates that’s still standing today.

The Andafiavaratra Palace

The Prime Minister’s Palace, built by the British William Pool, has a dome of glass and is made of brick and stone. It served as a barracks, a court, and an arts workshop over time. Today, it houses relics saved from the 1995 fire at the Manjakamiadana Palace. The Ranavalona II Palace of Justice in Ambatondrafandrana was where ancient kings gave speeches and administered justice.

Scenic Overlooks

There are two roads to the Queen’s palace, one overlooking the whole capital, and the other at the end of Doctor Palarosy street.

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