Shortened simply to 'Tana', Antananarivo is the bustling capital
of Madagascar, set amongst the vast wilderness that sees an
increasing number of travellers visiting this inspiring land.
, Tana was named after the revered
17th century King Andrianjaka who conquered several villages in the
area, leaving a garrison of 1000 men to defend his new territory.
Built on hillsides and ridges Tana is the main entry point for
visitors travelling to Madagascar, although not many tourists spend
more than a couple of days here, either at the beginning or end of
their holiday as Antananarivo is not an easy place for first time
visitors with little in the way of tourist infrastructure. Sights
worth seeing include the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, the Prime
Minister's Palace, the daily Zoma Market and Rova: the old shell of
the Queen's Palace which was severely damaged by arson in the
1990s. With a distinctive French flavour, mish-mash of red-brick
houses scattered all over the hillsides, and nineteenth-century
churches dotted around the maze of small, winding streets, Tana has
its own inimitable charm - an attraction in itself.