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Built on a narrow, rocky ridge, Antananarivo occupies a strategic point at the center of the island of Madagascar. Two forts watch over the city from the east and southwest, while within the city limits lay royal palaces, embassies, some fifty churches and a mosque. The city's most distinguishing feature may be the burnt out remains of the Rova, or Queen's Palace, situated on a prominent hill. Its steep alleys and stairways make Antananarivo a challenging but rewarding city to explore on foot.
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