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Antananarivo, Madagascar

Antananarivo, population 675,669 (1993), is the capital of Madagascar. It is Madagascar's largest city and is its administrative, communications, and economic center. Manufactures include food products, cigarettes, and textiles. Antananarivo was founded about 1625. In 1797 it was made the capital of the Merina kings. The conquests of King Radama I made Antananarivo the capital of almost all of Madagascar. The city was captured by the French in 1895 and incorporated into their Madagascar protectorate. Antananarivo is home of the University of Madagascar and the Collège Rural d'Ambatobe.

Antananarivo means "The City of a Thousand" (arivo=thousand). In the colonial period and for some years after independence the spelling Tananarive was used.\n