The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

Located just 12 miles (20km) from Antananarivo, the archaeological and UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga features a ruined royal city, a burial site and a few other sacred places. A popular destination for local and international pilgrims to visit, this spiritual attraction is considered one of the most sacred places in Madagascar. Set in lush green countryside overlooking a rice paddy, the rooms of the wooden buildings are furnished with goods which include gifts from Queen Victoria. The hill was used by the royal family as their Palace until 1890 when the British traded Madagascar for a free hand in Zanzibar and the French invaded Madagascar, deposing the Queen and exiling her to Algeria. The family was never allowed to return to Madagascar.

Information & Facts

Malagasy is the official language, but French is used in business and government and is widely spoken in the main cities in Madagascar. A few people involved in the tourism industry might be able to speak some English, but it is not widely spoken.

The official currency is the Malagasy ariary (MGA), which has been reintroduced to replace the Malagasy franc. Coins and notes display both currencies, but newer notes display the ariary more prominently than the franc. One ariary is equal to five francs. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and official bureaux de change, but the ariary cannot be changed back into hard currency. Some banks will only accept US dollars or Euro. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at most banks and in major hotels, but some banks refuse to accept them. ATMs are available in Antananarivo. Most major credit cards are starting to be accepted in top hotels and major travel agencies in the capital and other major towns, but have limited usage elsewhere.

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