A short distance from the Rova of Antananarivo, slightly lower than the latter, stands the sumptuous Prime Minister of Madagascar Rainilaiarivony (1828 – 1896), wherein part of Hova.
The Hova were a heterogeneous class consisting of free men and which occupied an intermediate place between Andriana (noble royal families) and caste Mainty (servants and royal soldiers), other caste being formed by the freed slaves and slaves. Over time, the Hova took an increasing role in running the country.
Rainilaiarivony replaced his older brother, who was behind the assassination of King Radama II 1863, first as army chief, then as prime minister of the country.
Rainilaiarivony épousa successivement les Reines Rasoherina, Ranavalona II et Ranavalona III. It became the real strongman of the country for much of the second half of the 19th century, the Queen's power became more formal than real. He put out important legal reforms, strengthened the administrative structures and tried to preserve the independence of Madagascar, without being able to prevent the military takeover of France on the Big Island in the years 1895-97.
Rainilaiarivony had no children of his royal wives, but had many descendants of a woman, married previously and then relegated to second wife. On her wedding day with Ranavalona II was the occasion of a public baptism in Christianity, making Protestantism the official religion of Madagascar. The royal talismans, so venerated until the Merina dynasty, were destroyed and replaced by the Bible.
In his high office, Rainilaiarivony amassed a huge fortune and built the sumptuous Palace Andafiavaratra, near the Rova of Antananarivo, by English architect William Pool in 1873. It is an imposing building of brick and stone, covered with a glass dome.
This palace is located at the site where his father Rahiniharo, Prime Minister already, had established a beautiful wooden palace of two floors that already was somehow during the Queen's Palace, 200 meters higher, one dominating the other, by respect for the sovereign.
Rainilaiarivony was dismissed in 1895 speak French, who seized the country, and sent into exile the following year in Algiers, where he died later.
The "Palace of the Prime Minister" then sometimes experienced various military assignments sometimes administrative or academic. Twice, it was the scene of major Malagasy political trial: in 1916, Affair of V.V.S. and in 1948, that of M.D.R.M. After the independence of Madagascar 1960, the palace temporarily housed the Presidency services, then the Prime Minister of Madagascar. Ravaged by fire in 1975, it was restored later.
Today, the Palace of the Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony is a museum that houses the objects, pictures and furniture which were saved from the fire of the Rova of Antananarivo 1995. Its architecture has often been criticized especially by architect Jully. More, Palace remains the symbol of the Hova power in the country's history.