Antananarivo ( Tana for short, formerly Tananarive ) is the capital and with 1.816 million inhabitants, by far the largest city of Madagascar. The administrative center of the province of Antananarivo is located at an altitude of up to 1435 m above sea level in the central highlands of the island. Antananarivo is both geographical and administrative and industrial center of Madagascar.


Antananarivo was founded about 1625. The name means The City of a Thousand. In 1797 it was the capital of the Merina kings.

The conquests of King Radama I made ​​Antananarivo the capital of Madagascar almost entirely. 1895, the city was occupied by France and incorporated into their Madagascar protectorate. During the colonial period and shortly after the independence of the island, the city bore the name Tananarive.


The city is divided into six arrondissements.

Mayor was from September 12, 2007 Andry Rajoelina, who had been elected with 63.32 % of votes. After riots in the city in January 2009 that called on the President Marc Ravalomanana to resign; on 3 February 2009, Ravalomanana was deposed by the government and Rajoelina his interim successor.


Antananarivo is the administrative, communications, and economic center of Madagascar. Thus, also the automotive manufacturers Karenjy headquartered here.


On the northern outskirts there is an international airport Antananarivo ( Ivato ).

To improve the public transport system, the old rail Tana is currently being reactivated with material donations from Switzerland. On the narrow gauge network should operate old train compositions of the Zurich Forchbahn and other Swiss private railways. The network has a length of 25 kilometers. The project has so far (as of end of 2008) but not yet implemented.

Culture and Education

The city is home to the University of Madagascar, the Université d' Antananarivo, and the Collège Rural d' Ambatobe. , Also located Goethe Institute has a library with the main focus on Madagascar. Other foreign institutions such as the Alliance Française and various international organizations have their headquarters here


The economy relies on the production of food and textiles.


  • The old Royal Palace Rova ( built after the fire of 1995 outside again).
  • At the zoo Tsimbazaza lemurs and other endemic species can be seen.
  • The Zoma ( Friday market ), formerly led to the paralysis of the city center every Friday was divided mid-1990s to several districts. In the markets can be bought practically everything that the island offers of goods, for example, green pepper, vanilla, medicinal herbs of Ombiasy, arts and crafts or gems.
  • Opened in 2008, pirate museum tells the story of pirates and those of Madagascar, who once created the Pirate Republic Libertalia there.


1962 welcomed the former German Federal President Heinrich Lübke on a trip to Africa in the then still called Tananarive city, the presidential couple Tsiranana with the words: " Dear Mr. President, Madam Tananarive "

According to a study published by Forbes Magazine list of the unhealthiest cities in the world Antananarivo in third place.


Nice in France and Armenia's capital, Yerevan are twin cities of Antananarivo.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Jean -Joseph Rabearivelo (1901-1937), Malagasy writer
  • Gabriel Ramanantsoa (1906-1979), President of Madagascar, 1972-1975
  • Claude Simon, (1913-2005), Nobel Prize for Literature
  • Raymond Ranjeva ( b. 1942 ), lawyer and Vice- President of the International Court of Justice
  • Yves Oppenheim ( b. 1948 ), artist
  • D' Gary ( b. 1961 ), guitarist


Despite its location in the tropics Antananarivo is located in the temperate zone, which is why because of the high position also speaks to the part of kalttropisch. Summer corresponds to the rainy season, the winter dry season. Ground frost in winter is rare, but not uncommon.