Today I got the chance to go to Ambohimanga.  Ambohimange is a UNESCO World Heritage Site about 30 minutes north of Tana and has been a cultural/historical site that I have wanted to visit since I found out I was coming to Madagascar.  The site itself is what is left of the fortified city atop one of the twelve sacred hills of Imerina.  The fortified palace area, which is the main tourist attraction, and most of the gates are still intact, though many of them are covered in dense vegetation. 
            Arriving by brusse we made our way up the road to the small modern town of Abohimanga
that has formed around the main gateway of the old town.  After pretending to roll the large stone away from the gate, as if we could, we made our way up the road towards the palace.  Not knowing exactly where we were going, and hoping we were headed in the right direction, we came across an old boulder gateway.  It was old, a gate, and in the right area so we decided go through it and see where the path would lead us.  Unfortunately, less than a minute later, the path led us right back to the road we were just on, so we continued our walk up the road. Upon reaching the top of the hill we took in the scenery of the countryside, tried and failed to buy some ice cream at a local store, and then made our way to the palace area’s gateway. 
            We had heard that the entrance fee was very cheap for PCV’s, but, when our residency cards were of no use, we ended up having to pay the 10,000Ar Vazaha price.  It was well worth the price.  When we entered the gate we were greeted by a few people that told us the rules and offered their services as a guide.  A guide is not mandatory there and since most of the things had signs explaining them we decided not to get one.  In the end we just asked the security guard that followed me around to make sure I did not take pictures inside the buildings any questions that we had.  Inside the site we got to see the sacred forest, the royal baths, the royal tombs, the rova (royal house), and an amazing view of the area around Tana.  The rova of the first king was much like the one I had seen in Tana, so I was able to explain the different aspects of it, but this one had so many more artifacts inside (sorry, pictures were not allowed inside).  After touring the site we took a walk through town and down an old walk way to the sacred lake.  
Front gate.

Stone gateway.

Place of legal proceedings of justice.

Place of gathering

View from the queens tea room.

Royal baths

First kings house.

Queens house.

Gathering place for the inhabitants of the 12 sacred hills of Imerina.

View of Tana in the distance from the historical site.

Gateway to the royal place.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing, thanks for sharing! Love ya Justin & good to catch up on all your doing.


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