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Anosy Antananarivo

Uncovering the historic sites of antananarivo, madagascar island

The Prime Minister’s Tomb.

On the left side of Victoire Rasoamanarivo Avenue, as you head down from Antaninarenina towards Isotry, lies the tomb of Prime Minister Rainiharo and his family. This monument also holds the remains of Raharo, who served as Prime Minister to Radama II and Rasoherina, as well as Rainilaiarivony, who was the Prime Minister to the last three Malagasy queens.

Built between 1846 and 1854 by Laborde, this stone mausoleum is the city’s first major monument. It takes inspiration from Indian architecture and is surrounded by a colonnade with high stelae resembling stupas on each side. The square structure measures 25 meters on each side.

The upper terrace features a balustrade and is accessible via a wide staircase, leading to a second quadrangular colonnade. The heavy bronze doors lead to two funeral chambers within. Designated as a historical monument in 1913, it continues to be a place of worship for many people.

The old Zoma

The Zoma, originally established as a marketplace for trading cattle, wood, and stones by Andrianampoinimerina, was relocated several times before finding its place in Analakely. In 1926, the wooden stalls were replaced with brick pavilions along 900-meter-long cement walkways. Following independence, the market expanded to encompass the entire Analakely neighborhood and grew to become one of the world’s largest markets. It no longer only operates on Fridays but has become an everyday affair.

Lake Anosy

The Anosy Lake is a remnant of the marsh that used to stretch at the foot of Analamanga hill. It’s shaded by jacaranda trees with violet flowers that release a fragrant sap in November. Vorompotsy herons frequent its shores to cool off.

In the past, the lake’s shape was altered by James Cameron, and Radama built an ammunition depot on its central island. Later on, Jean Laborde constructed a summer palace for Queen Ranavalona Ière on this site. The leisure pavilions have been replaced by “l’Anjely mainty” (the Black Angel), a monument honoring Malagasy soldiers who died for France in 1914-1918, sculpted by Barberis and adorned by Perrin in 1927.

To the west of the lake lies Ampefiloha, the modern district housing government ministries. In addition, to the northwest is Isoraka where the University of Madagascar’s Museum of Art and Archaeology is situated.

Mahamasina

To the southeast of Anosy Lake, there are two major sports complexes called Mahamasina. One was built by the Chinese in 1997, and the other has been hosting sports events, concerts, and political meetings for many years.

Originally, Radama I had the rice fields in the area filled to create a training ground for his troops. The vast open space was used for the coronation ceremonies of Radama II as well as public speeches by Queens Ranavalona II and III. General de Gaulle announced Madagascar’s regaining of sovereignty in 1958 at this location. President Tsiranana also proclaimed independence here in 1960. Only a sacred stone from celebrations in the 19th century remains hidden under the stands.

Mahamasina is known as a hub for musicians who create new sounds influenced by Salegy, Zouk Gasy, and Oatsa-Oatsa rhythms from across the Indian Ocean. Behind the stadium stands the beautiful colonial building of L’École de Médecine (1928). Within Befelatanana Hospital’s grounds lies the tomb of two prime ministers from Malagasy queens: Rainijohary and his son Rainitsimbazafy.

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