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“At Ambohimanga, I reign; In Antananarivo, I conquer; In Ambohipo, I reside. It is thus that Andrianampoinimerina defines the place occupied by his palaces in his heart.
When the work of reunification of the Imerina is accomplished, the great conqueror thinks of asserting his sovereignty over the lands of the kings he has just defeated, while protecting Antananarivo against possible attacks coming from the distant lands of the Coast. He then built Rova and Lapa on the Twelve Hills, symbols of the Imerina, by the populations of these ancient fiefs.
As for the construction of the palaces of Ambohimanga and Antananarivo, it requires the participation of all the Imerina. Moreover, only the royal families residing in these two Rova receive the sacred tribute of the “volavita”, an ox marked with white spots on the forehead, back, tail and legs, offered to the sovereign by his subjects.
Moreover, most of these Twelve hills are not established in the seigniory even though Andrianampoinimerina installs women and children there, but the government comes directly from him, for power is not a child affair, “tsy an-jaza ny Fanjakana “.
In the peripheral provinces of Imerina already pacified, only Andriantsoba, Lord of Vonizongo, Andriantsileondrafy of Vakinankaratra, Ralainanahary of Kaloy and Andriamary of Vakinambifotsy are entitled to the “Tranomanara”, small wooden box high on the tomb of some noble castes. It is called a “cold house” because the fire is never lit.
However, after consultation with his people, Andrianampoinimerina installs one on the tomb of Rangorivahiny, wife hova of his grandfather Andriambelomasina. Tomb he had erected south of Ambohimanga.
After the Twelve Hills, the King built other palaces for him, of course, and for his favorite son Laidama. For his own person, he ordered the construction of two palaces called
Soavimasoandro between the country of Antehiroka and that of Tsimiamboholahy, and Ambohipo (nimerina). These are high-rise holiday palaces in soothing settings. Soavimasoandro, the palace blessed by the sun is erected on an islet surrounded by marshes. Belahasa and Rabehoraisina are appointed in his custody.
In Ambohipo, he built a palace of relaxation, a kind of hunting lodge, which he called Miandrivola. As a sovereign, it is there that he awaits the arrival of all the taxes, taxes … coming from the four corners of his kingdom. Three men are in charge of its care and maintenance: Rahaingo, Ralaifidy and Randriankoto.
In Laidama, it offers two palaces.
After having displaced the inhabitants of the place, the Tsimilefa, he orders that one builds near the lake of Mandroseza a construction which it denominates Mahazoarivo itself. For, he says, “to Laidama the thousand, to him the throne.” And it is said that whenever he comes, the young prince always brings two pennants, Mahazotany since to him is the land and Mahazovola because to him is the money.
When the bearded (his brother Ramavolahy) sees this palace, he asks his father permission to build a house not far from Mahazoarivo, in Ankadiaivo. He baptizes her Ivanja (powder).
There he united his supporters, the dissatisfied with the regime.
Next to Mahazoarivo, on a site offered by the Mainty and guards of the Royal Palace located in Ambatomena, another pavilion is still built for Laidama: Tsiazompaniry that no person who covets it, can not get.
Later, when he reached the throne, Radama enlarges the two pavilions so that they become one. One night, unfortunately, while he is asleep there, the whole thing catches fire. General agitation: the king can not be found. Living Death It is called. It takes some time for him to be heard hailing from afar, on the other shore of the lake which he swam across for more precaution. For the floor served him as an armory where he kept weapons, ammunition, barrels of powder. In any case, of all these wooden palaces, few have remained standing and have resisted the vicissitudes of the years, Of the time, to the acts of the criminals, through interviews, repairs, restorations.