Antananarivo Madagascar History
On the occasion of the country's Independence Day on 26 June, here are a few things you may not know about Madagascar, as well as some of its history.
Madagascar is home to about 80% of the world's songbirds, many of which are native only to Madagascar. In addition, there are two UNESCO-certified World Heritage Sites, the rainforests of Atsinanana, and there is a national park, the National Park of Madagascar, as well as several other national parks. The island is home to more than 2,000 bird species, about half of which are endemic or only native to Madagascar, with the remainder coming from other parts of Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East.
Tana is home to the oldest mixed population of Madagascar, which comes from tribes from all corners of Madagascar. From Toliara in the south to Sambirano in the north, the western edge of the island is occupied by ethnic groups. Here you can also see the remains of a large number of ancient temples, some of which were colonized by the French and others from the history of the islands.
At the beginning of the 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled by a number of Merina nobles. After French colonization in 1896, the kingdom gradually extended its rule to almost all of Madagascar, until a little later.
In 1946 the Comoros were declared an overseas territory and thus the status of a colony was terminated. In 1956 Madagascar began to move towards independence and on 14 October 1958 the Malagasy Republic was established as an independent state from the French colonies. The Comoros have once again split from Madagascar, but this time as part of the Republic of Madagascar and not as a state.
Antananarivo became the capital of the Malagasy Republic after the declaration of independence from Madagascar and remained the capital of the island until the French colonised Madagascar in 1897. The French administration claimed the islands as a colony and rewrote their name to Tananarive, where it retained its capital.
The absolute supremacy of the Merina Kingdom over Madagascar ended when a French air column invaded Tananarive and surprised the defenders of the city. The absolute supremacy of Merina, the Kingdom of Madagascar, was overcome at the beginning of the 20th century by the arrival of French troops and the invasion of Antananarivo in 1855.
The rebellion of the National Movement for Madagascar's Independence was crushed by the government and the police. Monja Jaona led a rebellion against the government of Antananarivo, which resulted in the death of over 100 people.
This meant that Madagascar was once a safe haven for hundreds of pirates, but all efforts failed. Madagascar became a haven for pirates who lived in Nosy Sainte Marie and married with Madagascar, and became the home of many of them.
Although lemurs have disappeared from Madagascar in the last millennia, there are still 33 lemur species that survive on the island. When Madagascar first separated from continental Africa, many of the species well represented in Madagascar developed in the Nile Basin, which today covers much of eastern and central Africa and parts of South Africa.
If you think Madagascar has only lemurs, you have to look at its equally impressive culture. If you prefer historical culture, fauna, flora and adventure, then Madagascar's capital city will meet your expectations. Start here in Madagascar's capital Antananarivo with a visit to one of the world's most famous lemurs, the Madagascar Lemur.
You will want to experience the rich history of colonial times in Madagascar up close - with the various colonial buildings scattered throughout the country, from French to British. The most fascinating part of its history is its natural history, as Madagascar was isolated in the original supercontinent of Pangea, which formed Africa for a considerable time. Madagascar's flora and fauna, cut off from the African mainland more than 100 million years ago, has developed in a very different way. Madagascar had no human inhabitants until the late 19th century, when immigrants came from Indonesia.
The wealth that arose from Madagascar's trade led to a system of government governed by a powerful regional monarch known as Maroserana. In the 19th century, it had gained control of most of the island, and Antananarivo became the capital of almost all of Madagascar. Rova ("AntananARivo") became the centre of a great kingdom in Madagascar, while the royal hill Ambohimanga, which at that time served as the seat of power for the king and his family, served only as a spiritual seat. Known as Manjakamiadana or "The Fine Site of Domination," the complex is the largest of its kind in the world, covering a total area of over 1,000 square kilometres.
Madagascar is also full of ethnic groups who will tell you more about their cultures on their road trips. Madagascar is a great destination for many different cultures and ethnicities from all over the world.