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Antananarivo (Tananarive) Capital and largest city of Madagascar. Founded in c.1625, the city became the residence for Imerina rulers in 1794 and the capital of Madagascar. Antananarivo was taken by the French in 1895, and became part of a French protectorate. It is the seat of the University of Madagascar (1961). A trade centre for a rice-producing region, it has textile, tobacco, and leather industries. Pop. (1993) 1,052,835.