Andafiavaratra Palace, Antananarivo

Featured Image Source: Jose Antonio, Under Public Domain,

The Andafiavaratra Palace located on the highest point within the city of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar is currently one of the most important museums in the city. The museum has almost 1,500 historical objects within its collection. The museum not only houses many important historical objects but the building is too of historical importance for Madagascar, (source).

The first know building to be built on the hill was a wooden building built by Ranavalona I for her first minister Rainiharo. In 1872 British architect William Pool designed the current stone building with its iconic four towers, (source). The building was built for the then current prime minister Rainilaiarivory who effectively ran the empire from 1864-1896, (source). The building currently holds objects that were saved from the Rova fire of 1995 and the building serves as the Musée Andafiavaratra, (source).

During the French occupation, the building was used as barracks for French military troops, (source). The building had various uses after independence like art school, (source).

The building is built in an eclectic style using elements of Neo-classicism and Victorian architecture, (source). The building has a square floor plan with the four towers being placed in the four corners. In the squares centre, there is large glass dome. The building has four equal entrances, these entrances are identical in form. This symmetry is very reminiscent of the Villa Rotonda in Italy constructed in the 16th century, (source). The main building has three stories and the towers have 4 floors.

The facade uses three main colours, red, blue and the grey that comes from the natural raw stone. The two towers and central entrance hall jut out, between these three structures, verandas are strung. These verandas are constructed from natural stone. Holding up these verandas there are Corinthian columns, (source). The building’s and tower’s roofs are made from folded metal sheets, the dome is made of glass.

The building is one of the iconic building of the capital, Antananarivo, along with buildings like the Rova palace. The building is a unique architectural experiment.


Mada Camp. (2016, October 5). Andafiavaratra Palace. Retrieved July 1, 2018
Rough Guides. (n.d.). Musée Andafiavaratra. Retrieved July 1, 2018
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Andafiavaratra Palace. Retrieved July 1, 2018
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Paleis van Andafiavaratra. Retrieved July 1, 2018
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Victorian Architecture. Retrieved July 1, 2018
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Villa Capra “La Rotonda”. Retrieved July 1, 2018
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Classical order. Retrieved July 1, 2018

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