The Religious Capital

Fianarantsoa once used to be the administrative capital during colonial times. The name Fianarantsoa means “the place where one can learn something good” and was given by Queen Ranavalona 1st honouring the many academic institutions and reputed schools that are based here. It has a reputation as the academic, intellectual and religious capital of the country with the largest number of churches per square metre of the country.

Fianarantsoa is the wine capital of Madagascar. It produces some excellent red and white wines in the terraced vineyards surrounding the town. The most famous is the one produced by a large association of vine-farmers called Lazan’i Betsileo. Maromby (4km to the North), is a small peaceful village in the vicinity of vineyards, where wine can be bought at the monastery.

Here you can have an opportunity to enjoy the tastes of Madagascar wines. You can also buy some to take home as souvenirs.

You can stop at the old royal city of Anatirova which was founded in 1830. Anatirova is the old historic centre formerly occupied by the Betsileo Rova called Ivœnava (where the dead are hidden). From here you can enjoy a nice panoramic view of the city below.

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