it as a base to
bring the rest of Madagascar under Merina (highlander) rule. The city was
captured by the French in 1895 as part of their colonisation of
Madagascar following the Berlin Conference and the Merina
dynasty was abolished two years later with Queen Ranavalona III
being deported to Reunion then Algeria.
remodelled the city constructing new roads and buildings with a
French colonial feel and by 1950 its population had risen to 175,000
and remained as capital of the island after Independence from
France in 1960. Today, it is the administrative, communications,
and economic centre of the country.
Those employed in Antananarivo
primarily work in the production of leather goods, textiles as
well as food products, drinks and cigarettes. It is connected by
railway to the port of Toamasina on the east coast allowing for
easy imports and exports into the capital. Today, following
years of economic decline and political instability coupled with
the suspension of aid from organisations such as the EU,
Antananarivo has a feel of urban poverty with street children
combing the streets begging or stealing from tourists amid
overcrowded and uncared for buildings, high unemployment,
rampant pollution and a general sense of decay and despair.
Check out the video below to get a better
look and feel of Antananarivo then use our interactive map below
to explore the city in more detail.