The Charming Architecture Of Madagascar

Madagascar has much of the bright and quirky architecture you’d expect of a small, water-locked country. Though for a small country, it has a rich and sometimes turbulent history, which has affected popular styles in buildings. Here are some great shots of architecture from around the country inspired by and

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Ambohitsorohitra Palace

This is the presidential palace in Antananarivo. The president of Madagascar no longer actually lives here; it is purely symbolic. In 2009, during a coup, the military invaded the palace and has threatened to do so again.


Andafiavaratra Palace 

The Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony built this as his home while governing Madagascar. At the time, British missionaries dominated the area, which could be why the palace looks a bit like it belongs in the British countryside.



Ambohimanga is a fortified royal settlement, about 15 miles northeast of the capital. The structure is one of the last real representations of architecture from Melina, a highlander ethnic group in Madagascar. It is one of the best-preserved structures from the pre-colonial Kingdom of Madagascar.


Statue at Lake Anosy

Lake Anosy was created back in the 19th century in order to give power to factories in the area. Today it features a statue that can easily be seen from several vantage points.


Mahandrihono palace

Another structure at Ambohimanga, King Andriamasinavalona built it for his children. He built stone walls around the structure and within it, small houses for his children with names like “knows how to wait” to impress on his children that they shouldn’t try to usurp him.


Trano Gasy Houses

Gasy is just short for Malagasy and Trano means a box or frame, which makes sense when you consider that these houses look like little stacked boxes. This isn’t one building, but a type of building you’ll find in rural areas of Madagascar. They date back to when Queen Ranavalona II commissioned the construction of private homes for missionaries, and the style remained popular.


L’ Avenue de I’independence

L’ Avenue de I’independence is an avenue in the town center of Antananarivo and runs between produce and meat markets. On either side of the avenue you’ll see colonial style buildings with arched facades and bright colors.


Andohalo cathedral

Many compare Andohalo to Notre Dame, and for that reason, it’s a very popular area for tourists. The cathedral sits on a hill and is meant to commemorate the Malagasy Christian martyrs Queen Ranavalona I burnt on that hill.


The colors from this shot of Antananarivo explode over the hillside revealing hundreds of years of great architecture. The city was founded in the early 1600s.

Antsirabe Cathedral

This cathedral stands high over the surrounding town and reveals splendid architecture. Antsirabe is known for several Christian denominations, the church above happens to be catholic.

Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville was built in 2009 and replaced town hall, which burned down during protests in 1972. It still has the very stoic façade of the town hall.


Thatch Design in Nosy Be

These typical buildings line the beaches of Nosy Be and provide a chilled-out vibe to compliment the surroundings of the area. The people in the buildings above are selling colorful tablecloths, a nice purchase to take back home with you.

Market staircases

These are the staircases that run between the center of town to a popular marketplace. The staircases are always full of action and run between cheery apartments.


L’ Avenue de I’independence Part II

This area in Antsirabe features some interesting architecture with musical notes in the center of the square. You can always find colorful transportation here as well.

Soarano train station

Located at end of L’Avenue de I’lndependance, the Soarano train station is the principal railway station in the capital city. Today very few trains pass through the station and it’s used mostly for commercial purposes.


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