"The King, his Hut and the Rock...on a Blue Hill" Ambohimanga by Norali
Ambohimanga Travel Guide: 35 reviews and 124 photos
For me, most important building in the compound, Nampoina's hut
- because it's so simple and modest given the status and achievements this great King of the 17th century;
- because it's a so different style than that of the Queens summer palaces in the same compound;
- because whilst the "Hut" served as main residence of a reigning King, the other buildings just served as summer palaces. Their interiors are strikingly different. Whislt the Hut only has one room, simply equipped of a fireplace, a bed, some ustensils, the Palaces were adorned with leather wallpaper (donation from the then Spanish King), pieces of furniture from European courts and Japan whislt one of our Queen received from Queen Victoria a beautiful glass for her bedroom.
- And also because "Ambohimanga" means "Nampoina", shortened name of KING ANDRIANAMPOINIMERINA. To know more about the King, check the Things To Do tips.
Anyway, welcome to a virtual tour of one of the TWO Malagasy sites listed as a UNESCO World Heritage. It is the most visited of the cultural sites in Madagascar. I guess the Manjakamiadana Rova on Antananarivo hill would have shared this disticton if it had not been arsoned a decade ago (not "burnt", "arsoned"!).
THE BLUE HILL because it is covered by this thick dark blue-green primitive forest.
THE ROCK ? Which one ? Ok, check my General tips to know which one I am talking about.
+++ The page is fit to be seen (imho -- tried my best) but I'll add more historical facts when I finish reading my book. I invite you to start with the General tips then only the Things to do, Local custom tips... +++
Here, on background, the Queens summer palace.
Notice the difference in style between the Hut and those colonial buildings which use to be summer palaces. Nampoina's Hut was built circa mid-1800s whislt the summer palaces nearly one century later.
On front, a patch where used to be the tombs of Nampoina and Ranavalona II. Following the French colonization, Governor Gallieni violated the sacreness of the place by removing the dead corpses and transferring them to Antananarivo (!). That's a crime. Though, the worship is still very noticeable. Either you see some people standing on a corner and "talking to the Kings/ Queens spirit", offering beads, sweats, honey, flower and toaka gasy.. either you'll see those offerings laid on those corners, on rocks..
The complex being built on the hill (1500 meter above sea level), you'll sure have those views. While visitng the complex, I went with two cameras (a reflex with a good telelens and a digital). Thinking I had bought a 36-pose roll (Note to self, next time, I should check more carefully notices on the film packs at the supermarket), I snapped snapped but foud out I only had a 12-pose one.. so I quiclky ran out of film. My digital camera didn't give justice to the views, the setting then I just skipped some photo "opportunities" that my digicam wouldn't have seize correctly.
Views, yes. 360°, check. Aerial, check. "King of the world feeling", check. But first, the climb. Short & steep. Great.... more travel advice
The climb is interesting for many aspects. Those views over the plains at my feet as I proceeded the climbing. Those... more travel advice
- See All The little Ambatondradama trek & climb
- Good road to ride on!
- See All History buffs, something for you
Written May 5, 2005
Strolling in the compound... some green
Written Feb 2, 2007
I- Soavinandriamanitra & its fort walls
Written Feb 2, 2007
II- Jungle critters in Highlands fortwalls. Odd ?
Written Aug 4, 2007
Ambatondradama: the barefoot climb, pilgrims
Norali's Related Pages
Ambohimanga Travel Guide
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- "The King, his Hut and the Rock...on a Blue Hill"
- "Sacred City of Imerina Kings"
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