15 years later, the “Rova manjakamiadana” opens to the public

rova manjakamiadana madagascar blogsherpa antananarivo  15 years later, the Rova manjakamiadana opens to the public 15 years after the criminal incendie that took away almost all of the Rova of Manjakamiadana, this symbolic place opened to the publicfor four days  even though its restoration isn’t complete yet.

I do admit opening the gate to the public for free and letting people take photos is a good initiative. And the public came massively: tourists were mixed with malagasy people that came with the whole family, in couple. I went there with my daughter  as she never misses any opportunity to show the “palais de la reine” everytime she sees it from any Antananarivo road- so I thought it’d be nice to bring her inside – I also anticipated a nice photography-learning opportunity …

Frankly speaking: seeing those all-cement structures  covered with so well-polished woods lacked that “oldie” touch that any historical monument are associated to. Hadn’it been for the guide who reminded me about the story around this monument, I would have felt like I was visiting a current-nostalgic megalomaniac architecture-project. Anyway, the guide reminded me that the Rova was first made of woods with the help of a french architect, then a scottish architect named James Cameron (not the one who made the avatar movie) enforced the building by recovering it with rocks. Since the incendie burnt almost everything, the east side of the Rova had to be built from ground-up.

When we entered the Anatirova’s church, we had to go to a “backyard” place to find a genuine mozaic window that wasn’t taken away by the incendie. It’s an awkward feeling to be reminded about it everytime: “here once lied the {whatever precious piece of history} but it has been taken away by the fire”

Although Colas -the company in charge of the restoration- did a good job architecturally speaking, the materials used look too recent, and too modern IMHO … But since it’s still a work-in-progress, I guess that’s a normal thing- it just misses that “magic touch”, or is it that the Rova has lost its soul?

Anyway, here are some photos I took from today’s visit, your turn to have your feel about it …

If you want more photos, Jentilisa posted his own too [mg]

BTW, the Rova Manjakamiadana resumes closing its doors today. This special treat only lasted from thursday to today. Well I definitely hope the “magic” will be back once they decided to do the official opening later on