A Royal City

Located some 21 kilometres northeast of the capital, the World Heritage spot of Ambohimanga consists of a royal city, a burial site and an ensemble of sacred places. The city remained forbidden to foreigners up until 1895, a date which corresponds to the beginning of the French Governorship over Madagascar. To enter the village, you have to come through a very ancient gate, which, once upon a time, used to be blocked by a gigantic round stone. This stone rolled in a furrow dug in the ground until the entrance was totally blocked. This gate is called Ambavahaditsiomby which in Malagasy translates to “where even a zebu can’t come through”.

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