Madrid

Madrid

Overview
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area
Madrid metropolitan area
The Madrid Metropolitan Area comprises the city of Madridand forty surrounding municipalities. It has a populationof slightly more than 6.4 million people and covers an areaof 4.609,7 km²...

 is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city
Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits
This is a list of the largest cities in the European Union by population within city limits which have more than 300,000 inhabitants. It deals exclusively with the areas within city administrative boundaries as opposed to urban areas or metropolitan areas, which are generally larger in terms of...

 in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, after London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, and its metropolitan area
Madrid metropolitan area
The Madrid Metropolitan Area comprises the city of Madridand forty surrounding municipalities. It has a populationof slightly more than 6.4 million people and covers an areaof 4.609,7 km²...

 is the third largest in the European Union after London
Greater London Urban Area
The Greater London Urban Area is the conurbation or continuous urban area based around London, England, as defined by the Office for National Statistics. It had an estimated population of 8,505,000 in 2005 and occupied an area of at the time of the 2001 census. It includes most of Greater London,...

 and Paris. The city spans a total of 604.3 km² (233.3 sq mi).

Madrid urban agglomeration has the 3rd largest GDP in the European Union and its influences in politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, entertainment
Entertainment
Entertainment consists of any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching opera or a movie. Active forms of amusement, such as sports, are more often considered to be recreation...

, environment
Built environment
The term built environment refers to the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from personal shelter and buildings to neighborhoods and cities that can often include their supporting infrastructure, such as water supply or energy networks.The built...

, media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

, fashion
Fashion
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...

, science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, and the arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

 all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

.
Discussion
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Quotations

Halfway between heaven and hell.

Joaquín Sabina, singer and writer.

I've cried in Venetia, I've been lost in Manhattan, I've grown up in La Havana, I've been an outcast in Paris, Mexico torments me, Buenos Aires kills me, but there's always a train that goes to Madrid.

Joaquín Sabina, singer and writer.

Even if the summer dies and winter is in a hurry; spring knows I'll be waiting in Madrid

Joaquín Sabina, singer and writer.

Let's say I talk about Madrid

Joaquín Sabina, singer and writer. Category:Cities

And I'm just dialing 3692230 like and idiot just to hear your answering machine say you left Madrid.

Joaquín Sabina, singer and writer.

I get down in Atocha|Atocha, I stay in Madrid.

Joaquín Sabina, singer and writer

Where there are crossroads and you can't conceive the sea; where the fugitive always returns, let's say I'm talking about Madrid

Antonio Flores, singer and writer.

Girls don't want to be princesses, and boys tend to chase the sea in a Gin glass; let's say I'm talking about Madrid

Antonio Flores, singer and writer.
Encyclopedia
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area
Madrid metropolitan area
The Madrid Metropolitan Area comprises the city of Madridand forty surrounding municipalities. It has a populationof slightly more than 6.4 million people and covers an areaof 4.609,7 km²...

 is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city
Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits
This is a list of the largest cities in the European Union by population within city limits which have more than 300,000 inhabitants. It deals exclusively with the areas within city administrative boundaries as opposed to urban areas or metropolitan areas, which are generally larger in terms of...

 in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, after London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, and its metropolitan area
Madrid metropolitan area
The Madrid Metropolitan Area comprises the city of Madridand forty surrounding municipalities. It has a populationof slightly more than 6.4 million people and covers an areaof 4.609,7 km²...

 is the third largest in the European Union after London
Greater London Urban Area
The Greater London Urban Area is the conurbation or continuous urban area based around London, England, as defined by the Office for National Statistics. It had an estimated population of 8,505,000 in 2005 and occupied an area of at the time of the 2001 census. It includes most of Greater London,...

 and Paris. The city spans a total of 604.3 km² (233.3 sq mi).

Madrid urban agglomeration has the 3rd largest GDP in the European Union and its influences in politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, entertainment
Entertainment
Entertainment consists of any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching opera or a movie. Active forms of amusement, such as sports, are more often considered to be recreation...

, environment
Built environment
The term built environment refers to the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from personal shelter and buildings to neighborhoods and cities that can often include their supporting infrastructure, such as water supply or energy networks.The built...

, media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

, fashion
Fashion
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...

, science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, and the arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

 all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

. Due to its economic output
Output (economics)
Output in economics is the "quantity of goods or services produced in a given time period, by a firm, industry, or country," whether consumed or used for further production.The concept of national output is absolutely essential in the field of macroeconomics...

, high standard of living
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

, and market size, Madrid is considered the major financial centre
Financial Centre
A financial centre is a global city that is a company and business hub, as well as being home to many world famous banks and/or stock exchanges....

 of Southern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

; it hosts the head offices of the vast majority of the major Spanish companies. Madrid is the most touristic city of Spain, the fourth-most touristic of the continent, and is the 10th most livable city in the world
World's most livable cities
The world's most liveable cities is an informal name given to any list of cities as they rank on a reputable annual survey of living conditions. Two examples are the Mercer Quality of Living Survey and The Economists World's Most Livable Cities .Liveability rankings are designed for use by...

 according to Monocle magazine, in its 2010 index. Madrid also ranks among the 12 greenest European cities in 2010. Madrid is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics
2020 Summer Olympics
The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, will be a major international sports and cultural festival, celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games....

.

The city is located on the Manzanares river in the centre of both the country
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and the Community of Madrid (which comprises the city of Madrid, its conurbation and extended suburbs and villages); this community is bordered by the autonomous communities
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

 of Castile and León
Castile and León
Castile and León is an autonomous community in north-western Spain. It was so constituted in 1983 and it comprises the historical regions of León and Old Castile...

 and Castile-La Mancha
Castile-La Mancha
Castile-La Mancha is an autonomous community of Spain. Castile-La Mancha is bordered by Castile and León, Madrid, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia, and Extremadura. It is one of the most sparsely populated of Spain's autonomous communities...

.
As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and residence
Spanish royal sites
The royal sites are a set of palaces, monasteries, and convents built for and under the patronage of the Spanish monarchy. They are administered by Patrimonio Nacional , a Spanish state agency; most are open to the public, at least in part, except when they are needed for state or official...

 of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political centre of Spain. The current mayor is Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón Jiménez is a Spanish politician and mayor of Madrid. A stalwart of the conservative People's Party , he has previously been a leading figure in various local and national legislative bodies.-Personal life:...

 from the People's Party
People's Party (Spain)
The People's Party is a conservative political party in Spain.The People's Party was a re-foundation in 1989 of the People's Alliance , a party led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of Tourism during Francisco Franco's dictatorship...

 (PP).

While Madrid possesses a modern infrastructure, it has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets. Its landmarks include the Royal Palace of Madrid
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Palacio Real de Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid...

; the Teatro Real
Teatro Real
The Teatro Real or simply El Real , is a major opera house located in Madrid, Spain.-History:...

 (Royal theatre) with its restored 1850 Opera House; the Buen Retiro park, founded in 1631; the 19th-century National Library
Biblioteca Nacional de España
The Biblioteca Nacional de España is a major public library, the largest in Spain.It is located in Madrid, on the Paseo de Recoletos.-History:...

 building (founded in 1712) containing some of Spain's historical archives; an archaeological museum
National Archaeological Museum of Spain
The National Archaeological Museum of Spain is a museum in Madrid, Spain, located beside the Plaza de Colón , sharing its building with the National Library....

; and the Golden Triangle of Art
Golden Triangle of Art
The Golden Triangle of Art is made up of three important art museums that are close to each other in the centre of Madrid, Spain. They form a general triangle shape upon a map.The three art museums are:...

, located along the Paseo del Prado
Paseo del Prado
The Paseo del Prado is one of the main boulevards in Madrid, Spain. It runs north-south between the Plaza de Cibeles and the Plaza del Emperador Carlos V , with the Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo lying approximately in the middle...

 and comprising three art museums: Prado Museum
Museo del Prado
The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of...

, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is the official name of Spain's national museum of 20th century art . The museum was officially inaugurated on September 10, 1992 and is named for Queen Sofia of Spain...

, a museum of modern art, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, housed in the renovated Villahermosa Palace.

Toponym


There are several theories regarding the origin of the name "Madrid". According to legend Madrid was founded by Ocno Bianor (son of King Tyrrhenius of Tuscany and Mantua
Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

) and was named "Metragirta" or "Mantua Carpetana". Others contend that the original name of the city was "Ursaria" ("land of bear
Bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

s" in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

), due to the high number of these animals that were found in the adjacent forests, which, together with the strawberry tree , have been the emblem of the city from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

.

The most ancient recorded name of the city Magerit (for *Materit or *Mageterit ?) comes from the name of a fortress built on the Manzanares River in the 9th century AD
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

, and means "Place of abundant water". If the form is correct, it could be a Celtic place-name from ritu- 'ford' (Old Welsh rit, Welsh rhyd, Old Breton rit, Old Northern French roy) and a first element, that is not clearly identified *mageto derivation of magos 'field' 'plain' (Old Irish mag 'field', Breton ma 'place'), or matu 'bear", that could explain the Latin translation Ursalia.

Nevertheless, it is now commonly believed that the origin of the current name of the city comes from the 2nd century BC. The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 established a settlement on the banks of the Manzanares river. The name of this first village was "Matrice" (a reference to the river that crossed the settlement). Following the invasions carried out by the Germanic Sueves
Suebi
The Suebi or Suevi were a group of Germanic peoples who were first mentioned by Julius Caesar in connection with Ariovistus' campaign, c...

 and Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

, as well as the Sarmatic Alans
Alans
The Alans, or the Alani, occasionally termed Alauni or Halani, were a group of Sarmatian tribes, nomadic pastoralists of the 1st millennium AD who spoke an Eastern Iranian language which derived from Scytho-Sarmatian and which in turn evolved into modern Ossetian.-Name:The various forms of Alan —...

 during the 5th century AD, the Roman Empire no longer had the military presence required to defend its territories on the Iberian Peninsula, and as a consequence, these territories were soon overrun by the Visigoths. The barbarian tribes subsequently took control of "Matrice". In the 7th century, the Islamic conquest
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 of the Iberian Peninsula saw the name changed to "Mayrit", from the Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 term ميرا "Mayra" (referencing water as a "trees" or "giver of life") and the Ibero-Roman suffix "it" that means "place". The modern "Madrid" evolved from the Mozarabic
Mozarabic language
Mozarabic was a continuum of closely related Romance dialects spoken in Muslim-dominated areas of the Iberian Peninsula during the early stages of the Romance languages' development in Iberia. Mozarabic descends from Late Latin and early Romance dialects spoken in the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th...

 "Matrit", which is still in the Madrilenian gentilic
Demonym
A demonym , also referred to as a gentilic, is a name for a resident of a locality. A demonym is usually – though not always – derived from the name of the locality; thus, the demonym for the people of England is English, and the demonym for the people of Italy is Italian, yet, in english, the one...

.

Middle Ages


Although the site of modern-day Madrid has been occupied since pre-historic
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

 times, in the Roman era this territory belonged to the diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 of Complutum
Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares , meaning Citadel on the river Henares, is a Spanish city, whose historical centre is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, and one of the first bishoprics founded in Spain...

 (present-day Alcalá de Henares). There are archeological remains of a small village during the visigoth epoch, whose name might have been adopted later by Arabs. The origins of the modern city come from the 9th century, when Muhammad I
Muhammad I of Córdoba
Muhammad I was the Umayyad emir of Córdoba from 852 to 886 in the Al-Andalus .-Biography:Muhammad was born in Córdoba...

 ordered the construction of a small palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

 in the same place that is today occupied by the Palacio Real
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Palacio Real de Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid...

. Around this palace a small citadel
Citadel
A citadel is a fortress for protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. The term derives from the same Latin root as the word "city", civis, meaning citizen....

, al-Mudaina, was built. The citadel was conquered in 1085 by Christian king Alfonso VI of Leon and Castile in his advance towards Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

. He reconsecrated the mosque as the church of the Virgin of Almudena (almudin, the garrison's
Garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

 granary
Granary
A granary is a storehouse for threshed grain or animal feed. In ancient or primitive granaries, pottery is the most common use of storage in these buildings. Granaries are often built above the ground to keep the stored food away from mice and other animals.-Early origins:From ancient times grain...

). In 1329, the Cortes Generales
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

 first assembled in the city to advise Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI was the king of Castile, León and Galicia.He was the son of Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal. Upon his father's death in 1312, several disputes ensued over who would hold regency, which were resolved in 1313...

. Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

 and Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 continued to live in the city until they were expelled at the end of the 15th century. After troubles and a large fire, Henry III of Castile
Henry III of Castile
Henry III KG , sometimes known as Henry the Sufferer or Henry the Infirm , was the son of John I and Eleanor of Aragon, and succeeded him as King of the Castilian Crown in 1390....

 (1379–1406) rebuilt the city and established himself safely fortified outside its walls in El Pardo.

The grand entry of Ferdinand and Isabella
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

 to Madrid heralded the end of strife between Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 and Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

, and the beginning of the influence of the Renaissance in Spain
Spanish Renaissance
The Spanish Renaissance refers to a movement in Spain, emerging from the Italian Renaissance in Italy during the 14th century, that spread to Spain during the 15th and 16th centuries...

.

Modern Age



The Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

, with its capital at Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

, and the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

, with its capital at Zaragoza
Zaragoza
Zaragoza , also called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain...

, were welded into modern Spain
History of Spain (1975–present)
For all intents and purposes, the history of modern Spain began with the death of dictator Francisco Franco on the 20 November 1975, the accession of King Juan Carlos I to the throne and the establishment of the parliamentary monarchy...

 by the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

 (Queen Isabella of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

 and King Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

).
Though their grandson Charles I of Spain
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 (also known as Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

) favoured Seville, it was Charles' son, Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 (1527–1598) who moved the court to Madrid in 1561. Although he made no official declaration, the seat of the court was the de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 capital. Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

 continued to control commerce with Spain's colonies, but Madrid controlled Seville.

Aside from a brief period, 1601–1606, when Felipe III
Philip III of Spain
Philip III , also known as Philip the Pious, was the King of Spain and King of Portugal and the Algarves, where he ruled as Philip II , from 1598 until his death...

 installed his court in Valladolid
Valladolid
Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales...

, Madrid's fortunes have closely mirrored those of Spain.

During the Siglo de Oro
Spanish Golden Age
The Spanish Golden Age is a period of flourishing in arts and literature in Spain, coinciding with the political rise and decline of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. El Siglo de Oro does not imply precise dates and is usually considered to have lasted longer than an actual century...

 (Golden Century), in the 16th/17th century, Madrid knew its ultimate glory; El Escorial
El Escorial
The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the king of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometres northwest of the capital, Madrid, in Spain. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and...

, the great royal monastery built by King Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, invited the attention of some of Europe's greatest architects and painters. Diego Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

 (painter of Las Meninas
Las Meninas
Las Meninas is a 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age, in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The work's complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures...

 and The Surrender of Breda
The Surrender of Breda
La rendición de Breda , also known as El cuadro de las lanzas or Las lanzas, is a painting by Velázquez, painted during the years 1634–35, and inspired while Velázquez was visiting Italy with Ambrosio Spinola, the Italian general who conquered Breda on June 5, 1625. It is considered one of...

), regarded as one of the most influential painters of European history and a greatly respected artist in his own time, cultivated a relationship with King Philip IV and his chief minister, the Count-Duke of Olivares
Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares
Don Gaspar de Guzmán y Pimentel Ribera y Velasco de Tovar, Count-Duke of Olivares and Duke of San Lúcar la Mayor , was a Spanish royal favourite of Philip IV and minister. As prime minister from 1621 to 1643, he over-exerted Spain in foreign affairs and unsuccessfully attempted domestic reform...

, leaving us several portraits that demonstrate his style and skill. El Greco
El Greco
El Greco was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" was a nickname, a reference to his ethnic Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος .El Greco was born on Crete, which was at...

, another respected artist from the period, infused Spanish art with the styles of the Italian renaissance and helped create a uniquely Spanish style of painting.

Madrid was one of the cultural centres during the Spanish Golden Century. The Spanish court attracted many top Spanish artists and writers to the city, including Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written...

 (author of Don Quixote de la Mancha) and the aforementioned Diego Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

. Furthermore, in the city were born many of the great writers of this period: Lope de Vega
Lope de Vega
Félix Arturo Lope de Vega y Carpio was a Spanish playwright and poet. He was one of the key figures in the Spanish Golden Century Baroque literature...

, Francisco de Quevedo
Francisco de Quevedo
Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas was a Spanish nobleman, politician and writer of the Baroque era. Along with his lifelong rival, Luis de Góngora, Quevedo was one of the most prominent Spanish poets of the age. His style is characterized by what was called conceptismo...

, Calderon de la Barca and Tirso de Molina
Tirso de Molina
Tirso de Molina was a Spanish Baroque dramatist, poet and a Roman Catholic monk.Originally Gabriel Téllez, he was born in Madrid. He studied at Alcalá de Henares, joined the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy on November 4, 1600, and entered the Monastery of San Antolín at Guadalajara,...

, and the last of the great painters of the Golden Age, Claudio Coello
Claudio Coello
Claudio Coello was a Spanish Baroque painter. Influenced by many other artists, including Diego Velázquez who was also of Portuguese descent, Coello is considered the last great Spanish painter of the 17th century....

. The renowned Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 architect Juan de Herrera
Juan de Herrera
Juan de Herrera was a Spanish architect, mathematician and geometrician.One of the most outstanding Spanish architects in the 16th century, Herrera represents the peak of the Renaissance in Spain. His sober style was fully developed in buildings like the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial...

 designed the Plaza Mayor, which was built in the city during the Habsburg period as a central plaza
Plaza
Plaza is a Spanish word related to "field" which describes an open urban public space, such as a city square. All through Spanish America, the plaza mayor of each center of administration held three closely related institutions: the cathedral, the cabildo or administrative center, which might be...

. It is located near another famous plaza, the Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol
The Puerta del Sol is one of the best known and busiest places in Madrid. This is the centre of the radial network of Spanish roads. The square also contains the famous clock whose bells mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a new year...

.

New palaces (including the Palacio Real de Madrid) were built during Philip V
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 15 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he assumed the throne again upon his son's death, to his death.Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a...

´s reign. However, it would not be until Charles III
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese...

 (1716–1788) that Madrid would become a modern city. Charles III was one of the most popular kings in the history of Madrid, and the saying "the best mayor, the king" became popular during those times. When Charles IV
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788 until his abdication on 19 March 1808.-Early life:...

 (1748–1819) became king the people of Madrid revolted. After the Mutiny of Aranjuez
Mutiny of Aranjuez
The Mutiny of Aranjuez, or Motín de Aranjuez as it is known in Spain, was an early nineteenth century popular uprising against King Charles IV, which managed to overthrow him and place his son, Ferdinand VII, on the throne...

, which was led by his own son Ferdinand VII against him, Charles IV
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788 until his abdication on 19 March 1808.-Early life:...

 resigned, but Ferdinand VII's reign would be short: in May 1808 Napoleon's troops entered the city.

From 19th century to present day


On the second of May , 1808, the people of Madrid rebelled against the occupation of the city by French troops, provoking a repression by the French Imperial forces
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 and triggering the Spanish War of Independence
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

.

After the war of independence (1814) Ferdinand VII came back to the throne, but after a liberal military revolution, Rafael del Riego
Rafael del Riego
Rafael del Riego y Nuñez was a Spanish general and liberal politician, who played a key role in the outbreak of the Liberal Triennium .-Early life and action in the Peninsular War:...

 made the king swear respect to the Constitution. This would start a period where liberal and conservative government alternated, that would end with the enthronement of Isabellla II
Isabella II of Spain
Isabella II was the only female monarch of Spain in modern times. She came to the throne as an infant, but her succession was disputed by the Carlists, who refused to recognise a female sovereign, leading to the Carlist Wars. After a troubled reign, she was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of...

 (1830–1904). She could not suppress the political tension that would lead to yet another revolt, the First Spanish Republic
First Spanish Republic
The First Spanish Republic was the political regime that existed in Spain between the parliamentary proclamation on 11 February 1873 and 29 December 1874 when General Arsenio Martínez-Campos's pronunciamento marked the beginning of the Bourbon Restoration in Spain...

. This was later followed by the return of the monarchy to Madrid, then the creation of the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

, preceding the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

.

Madrid was one of the most heavily affected cities of Spain in the Civil War (1936–1939). The city was a stronghold of the Republicans
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

 from July 1936. Its western suburbs were the scene of an all-out battle in November 1936 and it was during the Civil War that Madrid became the first European city to be bombed by airplanes (Japan was the first to bomb civilians in world history, at Shanghai in 1932) specifically targeting civilians
Civilian casualties
Civilian casualties is a military term describing civilian or non-combatant persons killed, injured, or imprisoned by military action. The description of civilian casualties includes any form of military action regardless of whether civilians were targeted directly...

 in the history of warfare
Military history
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, their cultures, economies and changing intra and international relationships....

. (See Siege of Madrid (1936–39)).
During the economic boom in Spain from 1959 to 1973, the city experienced unprecedented, extraordinary development in terms of population and wealth, becoming the largest GDP city in Spain, and ranking third in Western Europe. The municipality is extended, annexing neighbouring council districts, to achieve the present extension of 607 km² (234.36 sq mi). The south of Madrid became very industrialized, and there were massive migrations
Human migration
Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Historically this movement was nomadic, often causing significant conflict with the indigenous population and their displacement or cultural assimilation. Only a few nomadic...

 from rural areas of Spain into the city. Madrid's newly built north-western districts became the home of the new thriving middle class that appeared as result of the 1960s Spanish economic boom
Spanish miracle
The Spanish miracle was the name given to a broadly based economic boom in Spain from 1959 to 1974. The international oil and stagflation crises of the 1970s ended the boom.- The pre-boom situation :...

, while south-eastern periphery became an extensive working class settlement, which was the base for an active cultural and political reform.

After the death of Franco, emerging democratic parties (including those of left-wing and republican ideology) accepted King Juan Carlos I
Juan Carlos I of Spain
Juan Carlos I |Italy]]) is the reigning King of Spain.On 22 November 1975, two days after the death of General Francisco Franco, Juan Carlos was designated king according to the law of succession promulgated by Franco. Spain had no monarch for 38 years in 1969 when Franco named Juan Carlos as the...

 as both Franco's successor and as the heir of the historic dynasty – in order to secure stability and democracy. This led Spain to its current position as a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

, with Madrid as capital.

Benefiting from increasing prosperity in the 1980s and 1990s, the capital city of Spain has consolidated its position as an important economic, cultural, industrial, educational, and technological centre on the European continent.

Climate


The Madrid region features a Continental Mediterranean climate (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Csa) with cold winters due to altitude (650 m (2,133 ft) above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

 in Alicante), including sporadic snowfalls and minimum temperatures often below freezing. Summer tends to be hot with temperatures that consistently surpass 30 °C (86 °F) in July and August and rarely above 40 °C (104 °F). Due to Madrid's altitude and dry climate, diurnal ranges are often significant during the summer. Precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 is concentrated in the autumn and spring. It is particularly sparse during the summer, taking the form of one or two showers and/or thunderstorms a month.

Water supply


Madrid derives almost 75 percent of its water supply
Water supply
Water supply is the provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavours or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and pipes...

 from dams and reservoirs built on the Lozoya River, such as the El Atazar Dam
El Atazar Dam
El Atazar Dam is an arch dam built near Madrid, Spain on the Lozoya River, very close to where the Lozoya joins the Jarama. It is the oldest dome dam in the world. The curved design of the dam is optimum for the narrow gorge in which it was built to retain water in the reservoir...

.

Districts



Madrid is administratively divided into 21 districts, which are further subdivided into 128 wards (barrios)

Madrid districts. The numbers correspond with the list in the left

  1. Centro
    Centro (Madrid)
    Centro is the central district of the city of Madrid, Spain. It is approximately 5,23 km² in size. It has a population of 148,714 and a population density of 28434,8/km².-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 6 wards :...

    : Palacio, Embajadores, Cortes, Justicia, Universidad
    Malasaña
    Malasaña is an area of Madrid famous for its creative, countercultural scene. Centred around Plaza de Dos de Mayo, it is reminiscent of Camden Town in London, the East Village in New York City, however despite its similarities, Malasaña is a distinct neighbourhood.-Overview:Malasaña is to the west...

    , Sol.
  2. Arganzuela
    Arganzuela
    Arganzuela is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain.-Position:Arganzuela is located in central-southern Madrid, separated from Latina, Carabanchel and Usera by the river Manzanares...

    : Imperial, Acacias
    Las Acacias (Madrid)
    Las Acacias is a ward of Madrid belonging to the district of Arganzuela. Its code number is 22 and, as of 2006, its population was of 37,727.-Geography:...

    , La Chopera, Legazpi, Delicias, Palos de Moguer, Atocha.
  3. Retiro
    Retiro (Madrid)
    Retiro is a district located at the southeast of the city centre of Madrid, Spain. Its area is of 5.38 km2, the number of houses is 46,512 and the population, as of 2005, was of 126,058 .-History:...

    : Pacífico, Adelfas, Estrella, Ibiza, Jerónimos, Niño Jesús.
  4. Salamanca
    Salamanca (Madrid)
    Salamanca is one of the 21 districts that form the city of Madrid, Spain. Salamanca is located to the northeast of the historical center of Madrid.-Overview:...

    : Recoletos, Goya, Parque de las Avenidas, Fuente del Berro, Guindalera, Lista, Castellana.
  5. Chamartín
    Chamartín
    Chamartín is an administrative district of Madrid, Spain and consists of the following neighborhoods: El Viso, Prosperidad, Ciudad Jardín, Hispanoamérica, Nueva España, and Pza...

    : El Viso, Prosperidad, Ciudad Jardín, Hispanoamérica, Nueva España, Castilla.
  6. Tetuán
    Tetuán (Madrid)
    Tetuán is a district of Madrid, Spain. The district takes its name from Tetouan, Morocco. Which was the capital of the former Spanish protectorate in northern Morocco.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 6 wards :...

    : Bellas Vistas, Cuatro Caminos, Castillejos, Almenara, Valdeacederas, Berruguete.
  7. Chamberí: Gaztambide, Arapiles, Trafalgar, Almagro, Vallehermoso, Ríos Rosas.
  8. Fuencarral-El Pardo: El Pardo
    El Pardo
    The Royal Palace of El Pardo is a historical building near Madrid, Spain, in the present-day district of Fuencarral-El Pardo. Owned by the Spanish state and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional agency, the palace began as a hunting lodge.-Overview:...

    , Fuentelarreina, Peñagrande
    Peñagrande
    Peñagrande is a neighborhood to the north of Madrid's city centre, in the district of Fuencarral-El Pardo. Peñagrande is Madrid's 26th largest neighborhood in terms of land area, its 10th largest in population and 77th largest in population density....

    , Barrio del Pilar, La Paz, Valverde, Mirasierra, El Goloso.
  9. Moncloa-Aravaca
    Moncloa-Aravaca
    Moncloa-Aravaca is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 7 wards :*Aravaca*Argüelles*Casa de Campo*Ciudad Universitaria*El Plantío...

    : Casa de Campo
    Casa de Campo
    The Casa de Campo is the largest urban park situated west of central Madrid, . It was formerly a royal hunting estate. Its area is more than ....

    , Argüelles, Ciudad Universitaria, Valdezarza, Valdemarín, El Plantío, Aravaca
    Aravaca
    Aravaca is a barrio of the city of Madrid, in the Moncloa district. It is from the city centre, on the other side of Casa de Campo park. The population of the barrio is 29,547 , divided between three areas: Aravaca , Valdemarín and El Plantío -History:During the Spanish Civil War, Aravaca was on...

    .
  10. Latina
    Latina (Madrid)
    Latina is one of the districts of Madrid. Different from La Latina area in the district of Centro, its name comes from Beatriz Galindo La Latina.-Position:...

    : Los Cármenes, Puerta del Ángel, Lucero, Aluche
    Aluche
    Aluche is a barrio of the city of Madrid, situated in the southwest of the city, in the Latina district. It is bounded by the barrios of Campamento, Las Águilas, Lucero, Los Cármenes, and the Carabanchel district. Casa de Campo is also nearby...

    , Las Águilas, Campamento, Cuatro Vientos
    Cuatro Vientos
    Cuatro Vientos is a ward of Madrid belonging to the district of Latina.-Geography:Cuatro Vientos is situated in the south-western area of central Madrid, close to the motorways A5 and M40 and to the homonymous airport.-External links:...

    .
  11. Carabanchel
    Carabanchel
    Carabanchel is a district in the south western suburbs of Madrid, Spain.-Overview:The area was the scene of fierce fighting during the Spanish Civil War -especially in November 1936, during the Battle of Madrid, when Nationalist troops tried to fight their way into the area. Unacustomed to street...

    : Comillas, Opañel, San Isidro, Vista Alegre, Puerta Bonita, Buenavista, Abrantes.
  12. Usera
    Usera
    Usera is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 7 wards :*Almendrales*Moscardó*Orcasitas*Orcasur*Pradolongo*San Fermín*Zofío...

    : Orcasitas, Orcasur, San Fermín, Almendrales, Moscardó, Zofío, Pradolongo.
  13. Puente de Vallecas
    Puente de Vallecas
    Puente de Vallecas is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain. It forms, with the district of Villa de Vallecas, the geographical area of Vallecas.-Subdivision:...

    : Entrevías
    Entrevías
    Entrevías is a neighborhood in the district of Puente de Vallecas in the southeastern portion of Madrid, Spain.According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística, the population of Entrevías in 2006 was 37,790....

    , San Diego, Palomeras Bajas, Palomeras Sureste, Portazgo, Numancia.
  14. Moratalaz
    Moratalaz
    Moratalaz is a district of Madrid, Spain. It is a well known area because musicians such as Melendi and Alejandro Sanz have lived there. Moratalaz is on east of municipality of Madrid, it has 634.42 km² of surface area and is delineated by the highways of M-30 to the west, M-40 to the east, M23 to...

    : Pavones, Horcajo, Marroquina, Media Legua, Fontarrón, Vinateros.
  15. Ciudad Lineal
    Ciudad Lineal
    Ciudad Lineal is a district in Madrid .-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 9 wards :*Atalaya*Colina*Concepción*Pinar de Chamartín *Pueblo Nuevo*Quintana...

    : Ventas, Pueblo Nuevo, Quintana, La Concepción, San Pascual, San Juan Bautista, Colina, Atalaya, Costillares.
  16. Hortaleza
    Hortaleza
    Hortaleza is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 6 wards :*Apóstol Santiago*Canillas*Palomas*Pinar del Rey*Piovera*Valdefuentes...

    : Palomas, Valdefuentes, Canillas, Pinar del Rey, Apóstol Santiago, Piovera.
  17. Villaverde
    Villaverde (Madrid)
    Villaverde is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 5 wards :*Butarque*Los Ángeles*Los Rosales*San Cristóbal de los Ángeles*Villaverde Alto...

    : San Andrés, San Cristóbal
    San Cristóbal de los Ángeles
    San Cristóbal de Los Ángeles is a neighborhood on the southern outskirts of Madrid, belonging to the working-class district of Villaverde. The growing immigration rate has boosted its population to 18,000 inhabitants.-Personalities:...

    , Butarque, Los Rosales, Los Ángeles.
  18. Villa de Vallecas
    Villa de Vallecas
    Villa de Vallecas is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain. It forms, with the district of Puente de Vallecas, the geographical area of Vallecas.-Subdivision:...

    : Casco Histórico de Vallecas, Santa Eugenia.
  19. Vicálvaro
    Vicálvaro
    Vicálvaro is a district in the southeast of Madrid, Spain, and a former municipality in its own right.-History:When Spain's Civil Guard was established in 1844, the first headquarters of its cavalry was in Vicálvaro. Franco converted it into an artillery barracks for the Brunete Armored Division,...

    : Casco Histórico de Vicálvaro, Ambroz.
  20. San Blas
    San Blas (Madrid)
    San Blas is a district at the east of Madrid's city centre. The population of the district is estimated in 149,909.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 8 wards :*Amposta*Arcos*Canillejas*Hellín*Rejas*Rosas*Salvador...

    : Simancas, Hellín, Amposta, Arcos, Rosas, Rejas, Canillejas
    Canillejas
    Canillejas is a suburb of Madrid, Spain, lying to the east of the city. It is located in San Blas district which formerly composed the old town of Canillejas that was annexed to Madrid in 1949. The Fiestas de Canillejas takes place from the 1 to 7 of September...

    , Salvador.
  21. Barajas
    Barajas (district)
    Barajas is the name of a district belonging to the city of Madrid, Spain.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 5 wards :*Aeropuerto*Alameda de Osuna *Casco Histórico de Barajas...

    : Alameda de Osuna, Aeropuerto, Casco Histórico de Barajas, Timón, Corralejos.

Metropolitan area



The Madrid Metropolitan Area
Madrid metropolitan area
The Madrid Metropolitan Area comprises the city of Madridand forty surrounding municipalities. It has a populationof slightly more than 6.4 million people and covers an areaof 4.609,7 km²...

 comprises the city of Madrid and forty surrounding municipalities. It has a population of slightly more than 6.271 million people and covers an area of 4.609,7 km². It is the largest metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 in Spain and the third largest in European Union.

As with many metropolitan areas of similar size, two distinct zones of urbanisation can be distinguished:
  • Inner ring (primera corona): Alcorcón
    Alcorcón
    Alcorcón is a city in the metropolitan area of Madrid, Spain; , it had a population of 168,229. It is located 13 km to the south-west of Madrid....

    , Leganés
    Leganés
    Leganés is a city in central Spain. Part of the greater Madrid conurbation - mainly a satellite-city with a population of 186,066 it is located about 11 km southwest of the city centre....

    , Getafe
    Getafe
    Getafe is a city in the southern zone of the Madrid metropolitan area, Spain, and one of the most populated and industrialized cities in the municipality. The city is home to one of the oldest Spanish military air bases, as well as the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid...

    , Móstoles
    Móstoles
    Móstoles is the second-largest city in population belonging to the autonomous community of Madrid. It is located 18 kilometres southwest from central Madrid. Móstoles was for a long time only a small village, but expanded rapidly in the twentieth century....

    , Fuenlabrada
    Fuenlabrada
    Fuenlabrada is a city and municipality located in the Madrid Metropolitan Area, Community of Madrid, Spain. It is located to the southwest of the community, 22,5 km far from the capital, and had a population of 197,836 in 2009. Is the fourth biggest town of Madrid after the capital, Móstoles...

    , Coslada
    Coslada
    Coslada is a city in the autonomous community of Madrid. , the mayor of Coslada is Raul Lopez Vaquero .The Dry Port of the Community of Madrid is located in Coslada, which turns the city into a strategic point. The majority of the companies which transport important commodities that operate in...

    , Alcobendas
    Alcobendas
    Alcobendas is a city located in the Community of Madrid, central Spain. It is located roughly 13 km north of Madrid and 7 km from the Barajas International Airport. It includes a central urban zone, a recently built district known as Valdelasfuentes, La Moraleja and El Soto de la...

    , Pozuelo de Alarcón
    Pozuelo de Alarcón
    Pozuelo de Alarcón is a suburb of over 85,000 inhabitants near the city of Madrid, capital of Spain. It is surrounded by large Mediterranean pine-tree forests: la Casa de Campo, el Monte del Pardo and el Monte del Pilar...

    , San Fernando de Henares
    San Fernando de Henares, Madrid
    San Fernando de Henares is a municipality in Spain, in the province and autonomous community of Madrid.It has an area of 39.9 km² and 36,244 inhabitants.Its agrigultural products include olives, cereals, vegetables, cattle and wool...

  • Outer ring (segunda corona): Villaviciosa de Odón, Parla
    Parla
    Parla is a municipality of the Madrid Metropolitan Area, Spain. It is located in the southern part of the autonomous community, approximately 20 km from the capital, Madrid. , it has a population of 120,182.- History :- Origins :...

    , Pinto
    Pinto, Madrid
    Pinto is a town in the south of the autonomous community of Madrid, central Spain.Formerly, the belief was that Pinto sat on the geographic middle of the Iberian Peninsula, hence its name comes from the Latin Punctum, "point".-Limits:...

    , Valdemoro
    Valdemoro
    Valdemoro is a municipal district, located in the Southern zone of the autonomous community of Madrid, Spain. Located 27 kilometers from the capital, Valdemoro is officially part of the comarca of La Sagra, though it is generally also included in the Madrid metropolitan area.The municipality has...

    , Rivas-Vaciamadrid
    Rivas-Vaciamadrid
    Rivas-Vaciamadrid is a municipality situated at the meeting point of the Jarama and Manzanares rivers in the Alcalá comarca in the autonomous community of Madrid...

    , Torrejón de Ardoz
    Torrejón de Ardoz
    Torrejón de Ardoz is a town in the urban area of Madrid, Spain that has about 110,000 inhabitants.It is a town 20 km east of Madrid on the NII highway . It is essentially a dormitory town, mostly consisting of apartments. It can be reached by bus from Av...

    , Alcalá de Henares
    Alcalá de Henares
    Alcalá de Henares , meaning Citadel on the river Henares, is a Spanish city, whose historical centre is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, and one of the first bishoprics founded in Spain...

    , San Sebastián de los Reyes
    San Sebastián de los Reyes
    San Sebastián de los Reyes is a municipality in the Community of Madrid in Spain. Founded in 1492, it is located 20 km north of Madrid. The city is twinned with Baunatal in Germany. It is geographically joined with neighboring Alcobendas and they share a common RENFE commuter line to Madrid Atocha...

    , Tres Cantos
    Tres Cantos
    Tres Cantos is a township and municipality located in the autonomous community of Madrid, Spain, some 22 km north of the capital city, Madrid. As a "satellite city" of Madrid which was conceived by urban planners as recently as the 1970s, it is the youngest incorporated municipality in Spain, with...

    , Las Rozas de Madrid
    Las Rozas de Madrid
    Las Rozas de Madrid is one of the larger townships and municipalities in the autonomous community of Madrid, Spain, with an area of between 58.8 and 59.14 km²...

    , Majadahonda
    Majadahonda
    Majadahonda is a municipality in Spain, situated 16 km northwest of Madrid, in the Community of Madrid. In 2009 the population was 66,585 inhabitants .It lies alongside the motorway A6 Madrid-A Coruña....

    , Boadilla del Monte
    Boadilla del Monte
    Boadilla del Monte is a town in Spain. It is located in the center of the Community of Madrid. It had a population of 41,807 in 2008.-External links:* * *...


The largest suburbs are to the South, and in general along the main routes leading out of Madrid.

Submetropolitan areas


A new project, has stated there are more submetropolitan areas inside Madrid metropolitan area
Madrid metropolitan area
The Madrid Metropolitan Area comprises the city of Madridand forty surrounding municipalities. It has a populationof slightly more than 6.4 million people and covers an areaof 4.609,7 km²...

:
Submetropolitan area
Area
(km²)
Population
(pop.)
Density
(pop./km²)
Madrid – Majadahonda
Majadahonda
Majadahonda is a municipality in Spain, situated 16 km northwest of Madrid, in the Community of Madrid. In 2009 the population was 66,585 inhabitants .It lies alongside the motorway A6 Madrid-A Coruña....

996.1 3,580,828 3,595.0
Móstoles
Móstoles
Móstoles is the second-largest city in population belonging to the autonomous community of Madrid. It is located 18 kilometres southwest from central Madrid. Móstoles was for a long time only a small village, but expanded rapidly in the twentieth century....

 – Alcorcón
Alcorcón
Alcorcón is a city in the metropolitan area of Madrid, Spain; , it had a population of 168,229. It is located 13 km to the south-west of Madrid....

315.1 430,349 1,365.6
Fuenlabrada
Fuenlabrada
Fuenlabrada is a city and municipality located in the Madrid Metropolitan Area, Community of Madrid, Spain. It is located to the southwest of the community, 22,5 km far from the capital, and had a population of 197,836 in 2009. Is the fourth biggest town of Madrid after the capital, Móstoles...

 – Leganés
Leganés
Leganés is a city in central Spain. Part of the greater Madrid conurbation - mainly a satellite-city with a population of 186,066 it is located about 11 km southwest of the city centre....

 – Getafe
Getafe
Getafe is a city in the southern zone of the Madrid metropolitan area, Spain, and one of the most populated and industrialized cities in the municipality. The city is home to one of the oldest Spanish military air bases, as well as the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid...

 – Parla
Parla
Parla is a municipality of the Madrid Metropolitan Area, Spain. It is located in the southern part of the autonomous community, approximately 20 km from the capital, Madrid. , it has a population of 120,182.- History :- Origins :...

 – Pinto
Pinto, Madrid
Pinto is a town in the south of the autonomous community of Madrid, central Spain.Formerly, the belief was that Pinto sat on the geographic middle of the Iberian Peninsula, hence its name comes from the Latin Punctum, "point".-Limits:...

 – Valdemoro
Valdemoro
Valdemoro is a municipal district, located in the Southern zone of the autonomous community of Madrid, Spain. Located 27 kilometers from the capital, Valdemoro is officially part of the comarca of La Sagra, though it is generally also included in the Madrid metropolitan area.The municipality has...

931.7 822,806 883.1
Alcobendas
Alcobendas
Alcobendas is a city located in the Community of Madrid, central Spain. It is located roughly 13 km north of Madrid and 7 km from the Barajas International Airport. It includes a central urban zone, a recently built district known as Valdelasfuentes, La Moraleja and El Soto de la...

266.4 205,905 772.9
Arganda del Rey
Arganda del Rey
Arganda del Rey is a municipality in Madrid, Spain. It is connected to Madrid by metro line 9, underground.-History:The first definitive habitation in the area dates back to the Arabic presence in the Iberian Peninsula...

 – Rivas-Vaciamadrid
Rivas-Vaciamadrid
Rivas-Vaciamadrid is a municipality situated at the meeting point of the Jarama and Manzanares rivers in the Alcalá comarca in the autonomous community of Madrid...

343.6 115,344 335.7
Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares , meaning Citadel on the river Henares, is a Spanish city, whose historical centre is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, and one of the first bishoprics founded in Spain...

 – Torrejón de Ardoz
Torrejón de Ardoz
Torrejón de Ardoz is a town in the urban area of Madrid, Spain that has about 110,000 inhabitants.It is a town 20 km east of Madrid on the NII highway . It is essentially a dormitory town, mostly consisting of apartments. It can be reached by bus from Av...

514.6 360,380 700.3
Colmenar Viejo
Colmenar Viejo
Colmenar Viejo is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants, located in the Community of Madrid, Spain, 30 kilometers north of Madrid on the M-607 motorway.-Main sights:The most important tourist attractions places in Colmenar Viejo are:...

 – Tres Cantos
Tres Cantos
Tres Cantos is a township and municipality located in the autonomous community of Madrid, Spain, some 22 km north of the capital city, Madrid. As a "satellite city" of Madrid which was conceived by urban planners as recently as the 1970s, it is the youngest incorporated municipality in Spain, with...

419.1 104,650 249.7
Collado Villalba
Collado Villalba
Collado Villalba is a municipality in the Community of Madrid, Spain. It is located 39 kilometres north-west of Madrid the capital city of Spain, at an altitude of 917m above sea level. It has a population density of about 2,184.49 hab./km². The climate of Collado Villalba is...

823.1 222,769 270.6
Madrid metropolitan area 4,609.7 5,843,031 1,267.6

Architecture



Although the site of Madrid has been occupied since prehistoric times, the first historical data that concerns the city dates from the middle of the 9th century, when Mohammad I ordered the construction of a small palace (site occupied now by the Palacio Real).
Around this palace there was built a small citadel (al-Mudaina). The palace was built overlooking the River Manzanares, which the Muslims called Mayrit meaning source of water (which in turn became Magerit, and then eventually Madrid). The citadel was conquered in 1085 by Alfonso VI in his advance towards Toledo. He reconsecrated the mosque as the church of the Virgin of Almudena (almudin, the garrison's granary), now the Catedral de la Almudena. In 1329 the Cortes first assembled in Madrid to advise Fernando IV
Ferdinand IV of Castile
Ferdinand IV, El Emplazado or "the Summoned," was a king of Castile and León and Galicia...

. Jews and Moors continued to live in the city in their quarter, still known today as the "Moreria", until they were expelled.


When Philip II moved his court permanently to Madrid, the city began to be embellished with various palaces, convents, churches and other historic buildings, most of which have survived to the present. This Madrid, known as the Madrid de los Austrias, is the most artistic and culturally rich of all historical times to the city. The chief architect of the time was Juan Gomez de Mora
Juan Gómez de Mora
Juan Gómez de Mora was a Spanish architect. His father, also Juan Gómez, was court painter to Philip II of Spain and brother to the architect Francisco de Mora....

, stylistic heir of Juan de Herrera and their sober traces, but he began to use Baroque elements.The work of this stage is the Plaza Mayor, and many Baroque religious buildings.

With the Bourbons began a new era in the city.The Royal Palace of Madrid
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Palacio Real de Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid...

 and the buildings and monuments of the Paseo del Prado
Paseo del Prado
The Paseo del Prado is one of the main boulevards in Madrid, Spain. It runs north-south between the Plaza de Cibeles and the Plaza del Emperador Carlos V , with the Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo lying approximately in the middle...

 (Salón del Prado and Alcalá Gate) deserve special mention. They were constructed in a sober Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 international style, often mistaken for neoclassical, by the Bourbon kings. Neoclassical also appears at this time, with Juan de Villanueva
Juan de Villanueva
Juan de Villanueva was a Spanish architect. Alongside Ventura Rodríguez, Villanueva is the best known architect of Spanish Neoclassicism....

, who designed the building for El Prado Museum.
In the early 20th century began the construction of Gran Vía
Gran Vía
Gran Vía is an ornate and upscale shopping street located in central Madrid. It leads from Calle de Alcalá, close to Plaza de Cibeles, to Plaza de España....

, with the task of freeing the old town. They used different styles that evolve over time: art nouveau, art deco, expressionist, etc. The Edificio Telefónica, of American inspiration, at the highest part of Gran Vía, is usually considered the first skyscraper in Europe. And finally (in Franco's period) the totalitarian style, the two skyscrapers in the Plaza de España.
Plans for the construction of a new cathedral for Madrid dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena
Virgin of Almudena
The Virgin of Almudena is a medieval icon of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The image is the advocation of the Virgin that serves as a patroness of Madrid, Spain....

 began in the 16th century, but the slow construction did not begin until 1879. Francisco de Cubas, the Marquis of Cubas, was the architect who designed and directed the construction in a Gothic revival
Gothic Revival architecture
The Gothic Revival is an architectural movement that began in the 1740s in England...

 style. Construction ceased completely during the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

. The project was abandoned until 1950, when Fernando Chueca Goitia adapted the plans of de Cubas to a neoclassical
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

 style exterior to match the grey and white façade of the Palacio Real
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Palacio Real de Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid...

, which stands directly opposite. and was not completed until 1993, when the cathedral was consecrated
Consecration
Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups...

 by Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

. On Calle Princesa, in the heart of the district of Moncloa, lies el Ejército del Aire, the headquarters of the Spanish Air Force. A scaled-down replica of the famous Monastery San Lorenzo del Escorial which lies about 50 kilometres northeast of Madrid, el Ejército del Aire is a classic example of Fascist Neoclassicism in Madrid.

The financial district in downtown Madrid between the streets Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, Orense, General Perón and Paseo de la Castellana
Paseo de la Castellana
Paseo de la Castellana , commonly known as La Castellana, is one of the longest and widest avenues of Madrid. It is named after an old fountain that used to exist in Plaza de Castilla...

, its original conception (and its name) to the "Plan General de Ordenación Urbana de Madrid", approved in 1946. The purpose of this plan was to create a huge block of modern office buildings with metro and railway connections in the expansion area of northern Madrid, just in front of Real Madrid stadium (currently named the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is an all-seater football stadium in Madrid, Spain. It was inaugurated on 14 December 1947 and is owned by Real Madrid Club de Fútbol. It has a current capacity of 85,454 spectators....

) and beside the brand new government complex of Nuevos Ministerios. A botanical garden
Botanical garden
A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

, a library and an opera house were also included in the plans, but these were never built.
Cuatro Torres Business Area is a business park
Business park
A business park or office park is an area of land in which many office buildings are grouped together. All of the work that goes on is commercial, not industrial or residential....

 that was completed in 2008. This block contains the tallest skyscrapers in Madrid and Spain (Torre Espacio
Torre Espacio
The Torre Espacio is a skyscraper in Madrid, Spain. The skyscraper is 236 metres tall and has 57 floors....

, Torre de Cristal
Torre de Cristal
The Torre de Cristal is a skyscraper in the Cuatro Torres Business Area in Madrid , completed in 2008. With a final height of 249.5 metres, it ranks as the second tallest building in the country after neighbouring Torre Caja Madrid...

, Torre Sacyr Vallehermoso
Torre Sacyr Vallehermoso
The Torre PwC, formerly Torre Sacyr Vallehermoso, is a 52-floor 236 metre tall skyscraper, completed in 2008, located in Madrid, Spain. Torre Sacyr Vallehermoso is one of four buildings in the Cuatro Torres Business Area...

 and Torre Caja Madrid
Torre Caja Madrid
The Torre Caja Madrid is a skyscraper located in the Cuatro Torres Business Area in Madrid, Spain. With a height of and 45 floors, it is the tallest of the four buildings in the Cuatro Torres Business Area complex, surpassing Torre de Cristal by less than a metre, and the tallest building in...

). A new commercial and economic area with plenty of skylines is expected to be constructed during the next ten years according to the "Enlargement of Castellana Street Project".

Madrid Barajas International Airport Terminal 4, designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers
Richard Rogers
Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside CH Kt FRIBA FCSD is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs....

 (winning them the 2006 Stirling Prize
Stirling Prize
The Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize is a British prize for excellence in architecture. It is named after the architect James Stirling, organised and awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects...

), and TPS Engineers, (winning them the 2006 IStructE Award
Structural Awards
The Institution of Structural Engineers' Structural Awards have been awarded for the structural design of buildings and infrastructure since 1968...

 for Commercial Structures) was inaugurated on 5 February 2006. Terminal 4 is one of the world's largest terminal areas, with an area of 760,000 square metres (8,180,572 square feet) in two separate terminals: a main building, T4 (470,000 square metres), and satellite building, T4S (290,000 square metres), which are separated by approximately 2.5 km (2 mi). The new terminal is meant to give passengers a stress-free start to their journey. This is managed through careful use of illumination, available by glass panes instead of walls and numerous domes in the roof which allow natural light to pass through. With the new addition, Barajas is designed to handle 70 million passengers annually.

Environment


Madrid is the European city with the highest number of trees and green surface per inhabitant and it has the second highest number of aligned trees in the world, with 248,000 units, only exceeded by Tokyo. Madrid's citizens have access to a green area within a 15 minute walk. Since 1997, green areas have increased by 16%. At present, 8.2% of Madrid’s grounds are green areas, meaning that there are 16m2 of green area per inhabitant, far exceeding the 10m2 per inhabitant recommended by the World Health Organization.
Parque del Retiro, formerly the grounds of the palace built for Felipe IV
Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV was King of Spain between 1621 and 1665, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands, and King of Portugal until 1640...

, is Madrid's most popular park and the largest park in central Madrid. Its area is more than 1.4 km2 (350 acres) and it is located very close to the Puerta de Alcalá
Puerta de Alcalá
The Puerta de Alcalá is a Neo-classical monument in the Plaza de la Independencia in Madrid, Spain. It stands near the city center and several meters away from the main entrance to the Parque del Buen Retiro...

 and not far from the Prado Museum. A magnificent park, filled with beautiful sculpture and monuments, galleries, a peaceful lake and host to a variety of events, it is one of Madrid's premier attractions. The park is entirely surrounded by the present-day city. Its lake in the middle once staged mini naval sham battles to amuse royalty; these days the more tranquil pastime of pleasure boating is popular. Inspired by London's crystal palace, the palacio de cristal can be found at the south-eastern end of the park.

In the Retiro Park is also the Forest of the Departed
Forest of the Departed
The Forest of Remembrance , formerly known as the Forest of the Departed , is a memorial garden located in the park of El Retiro in Madrid, Spain that commemorates the 191 civilian victims of the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the special forces agent who died in the attacks on 11 March 2004...

 (Spanish Bosque de los Ausentes), a memorial monument to commemorate the 191 victims of the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks.

Atocha Railway Station is not only the city's first and most central station
Central station
A central station usually designates the principal passenger railway station of cities which have multiple stations. The central station functions as the main transport hub for rail transport, normally with interchange with other modes of public transport...

 but also home to a distinctive indoor garden with 4,000 square metres of tropical plants. Atocha station has become a hothouse destination in itself for plant lovers, with more than 500 species of plant life and ponds with turtle and goldfish in, as well as shops and cafes. It's a nice place to visit on a cold or wet day with its even temperature of 24 degrees Celsius, or even on a scorching summer day as a retreat from the heat.
Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo
The Casa de Campo is the largest urban park situated west of central Madrid, . It was formerly a royal hunting estate. Its area is more than ....

 is an enormous urban parkland to the west of the city, the largest in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Madrid's main green lung. Its area is more than 1,700 hectares (6.6 sq mi). It is home to a fairground, the Madrid Zoo
Zoo Aquarium de Madrid
The Madrid Zoo Aquarium is a zoo and aquarium in Madrid, Spain. It is located in the Casa de Campo. The Zoo is property of the City Council, but it is managed by the international entertainment operator Parques Reunidos...

, an amusement park, the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid, and an outdoor municipal pool, to enjoy a bird's eye view of the park and city take a cable car trip above the tree tops. Casa de Campo's vegetation is one of its most important features. There are, in fact, three different ecosystems: oak, pine and river groves. The oak is the dominant tree species in the area and, although many of them are over 100 years old and reach a great height, they are also present in the form of chaparral and bushes. The pine-forest ecosystem boasts a large number of trees that have adapted perfectly to the light, dry conditions in the park. In addition, mushrooms often emerge after the first rains of autumn. Finally, the river groves, or riparian forests, are made up of various, mainly deciduous, species that grow in wetter areas. Examples include poplars, willows and alder trees. As regards fauna, this green space is home to approximately 133 vertebrate species.

The Royal Botanic Garden
Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid
The is an botanical garden located at , next to the Prado Museum in Madrid ....

 or Real Jardin Botanico is an 8-hectare botanical garden
Botanical garden
A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

 located in the Plaza de Murillo, next to the Prado Museum. It was an 18th century creation by Carlos III and it was used as a base for the plant species being collected across the globe. There is an important research facility that started life as a base to develop herbal remedies
Herbalism
Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, herblore, and phytotherapy...

 and to house the species collected from the new-world trips, today it is dedicated to maintaining Europe's ecosystem.
The Royal Palace
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Palacio Real de Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid...

 is surrounded by three green areas. In front of the palace, are the gardens of the Plaza de Oriente; to the north, the gardens of Sabatini and to the west up to the Manzanares river, the famous Campo del Moro. Campo del Moro gardens has a surface area of 20 hectares and is a scenic garden with an unusual layout filled with foliage and an air of English romanticism. The Sabatini Gardens
Sabatini Gardens
thumb|350px|right|Sabatini Gardens, with the Royal Palace.The Sabatini Gardens are part of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, and were opened to the public by King Juan Carlos I in 1978...

 have a formal Neoclassic style, consisting of well-sheared hedges, in symmetric geometrical patterns, adorned with a pool, statues and fountains, with trees also disposed in a symmetrical geometric shape. Plaza de Oriente can distinguish three main plots: the Central Gardens, the Cabo Noval Gardens and the Lepanto Gardens. The Central Gardens are arranged around the central monument to Philip IV, in a grid, following the barroque model garden. They consist of seven flowerbeds, each packed with box hedges, forms of cypress, yew and magnolia of small size, and flower plantations, temporary. These are bounded on either side by rows of statues paths, popularly known as the Gothic kings, and mark the dividing line between the main body of the plaza and the Cabo Noval Gardens at north, and the Lepanto Gardens at south.
Monte de El Pardo
El Pardo
The Royal Palace of El Pardo is a historical building near Madrid, Spain, in the present-day district of Fuencarral-El Pardo. Owned by the Spanish state and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional agency, the palace began as a hunting lodge.-Overview:...

 is a mediterranean forest inside the city of Madrid. It is one of the best preserved Mediterranean Forests in Europe. The European Union has designated the Monte de El Pardo as a Special Protection Area
Special Protection Area
A Special Protection Area or SPA is a designation under the European Union Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds.Under the Directive, Member States of the European Union have a duty to safeguard the habitats of migratory birds and certain particularly threatened birds.Together with Special...

 for bird-life. This meadow, which has been used as hunting grounds by the royalty given the variety of game animals that have inhabited it since the Middle Ages, is home to 120 flora species and 200 vertebrae species. Rabbits, red partridges, wild cats, stags, deer and wild boars live among ilexes, cork oaks, ash trees, black poplars, oaks, junipers and rockroses. Monte del Pardo is part of the Regional Park of the High Basin of the Manzanares, spreading out from the Guadarrama Mountains range to the centre of Madrid, and protected by strong legal regulations. Just before crossing the city, the River Manzanares forms a valley composed by sandy elements and detritus from the mountain range.
Soto de Viñuelas
Soto de Viñuelas
Soto de Viñuelas, also known as Mount Viñuelas, is a meadow-oak forest north of the city of Madrid, south of Tres Cantos and St. Augustine's Guadalix, east of the Monte de El Pardo and west of San Sebastián de los Reyes, all municipalities are parts of the Community of Madrid, Spain.It is a fenced...

, also known as Mount Viñuelas, is a meadow-oak forest north of the city of Madrid and east of the Monte de El Pardo. It is a fenced property of 3,000 hectares, which includes important ecological values, landscape and art. Soto de Viñuelas is part of the Regional Park of the High Basin of the Manzanares, a nature reserve which is recognised as a biosphere reserve
Biosphere reserve
The Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO was established in 1971 to promote interdisciplinary approaches to management, research and education in ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.-Development:...

 by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

, where it has been classified as Area B, the legal instrument that allows agricultural land use. Soto de Viñuelas also received the statement of Special Protection Area for Birds.

El Capricho is a 14-hectare garden located in the area of Barajas
Barajas (district)
Barajas is the name of a district belonging to the city of Madrid, Spain.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 5 wards :*Aeropuerto*Alameda de Osuna *Casco Histórico de Barajas...

 district. It dates back to 1784. The art of landscaping in El Capricho is displayed in three different styles of classical gardenscapes: the ‘parterre’ or French garden, English landscaping and the Italian giardino.

Madrid Rio is a linear park that runs along the bank of the Manzanares River, in the middle of Madrid. It is an area of parkland 10 kilometres long and covers 649 hectares in six districts: Moncloa-Aravaca
Moncloa-Aravaca
Moncloa-Aravaca is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 7 wards :*Aravaca*Argüelles*Casa de Campo*Ciudad Universitaria*El Plantío...

, Centro
Centro (Madrid)
Centro is the central district of the city of Madrid, Spain. It is approximately 5,23 km² in size. It has a population of 148,714 and a population density of 28434,8/km².-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 6 wards :...

, Arganzuela
Arganzuela
Arganzuela is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain.-Position:Arganzuela is located in central-southern Madrid, separated from Latina, Carabanchel and Usera by the river Manzanares...

, Latina
Latina
Latina is the feminine form of the term Latino.Latina may also refer to:*Province of Latina, a province in Latium , Italy**Latina, Lazio, the capital of the province of Latina**Latina Nuclear Power Plant*Latina , a district of Madrid...

, Carabanchel
Carabanchel
Carabanchel is a district in the south western suburbs of Madrid, Spain.-Overview:The area was the scene of fierce fighting during the Spanish Civil War -especially in November 1936, during the Battle of Madrid, when Nationalist troops tried to fight their way into the area. Unacustomed to street...

 and Usera
Usera
Usera is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 7 wards :*Almendrales*Moscardó*Orcasitas*Orcasur*Pradolongo*San Fermín*Zofío...

. It is a large area of environmental, sporting, leisure and cultural interest. Madrid Río provides a link with other green spaces in the city such as Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo
The Casa de Campo is the largest urban park situated west of central Madrid, . It was formerly a royal hunting estate. Its area is more than ....

 and the Linear Park of the Manzanares River. The main landscaped area in Madrid Río is the Arganzuela Park, covering 23 hectares where pedestrian and cycling routes cover the whole park. The Madrid Río cycle network covers some 30 kilometres and is linked to another bike routes. To the north, Madrid Rio connects to the Senda Real, the Green Ring for Cyclists and the E 7 (GR 10) trail, which goes as far as the Sierra de Madrid
Sierra de Guadarrama
The Sierra de Guadarrama is a mountain range forming the main eastern section of the Sistema Central, the system of mountain ranges at the centre of the Iberian Peninsula. It is located between the Sierra de Gredos in the province of Ávila, and Sierra de Ayllón in the province of Guadalajara...

 mountain range. To the south, Madrid Río provides access to the Enrique Tierno Galván Park and the Linear Park of the Manzanares River, an extensive green zone running parallel to the river as far as Getafe. As well as the cycle routes there are 42 kilometres of paths for walkers and runners. In the Salón de Pinos, a 6-kilometre long tree-lined promenade, there are circuits for aerobic and anaerobic exercise, while near the Puente de Praga bridge a tennis court and seven padel tennis courts.

The theme park Faunia, is a natural history museum and zoo combined, aimed at being fun and educational for children. It comprises eight eco-systems from tropical rain forests
Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests , also known as tropical moist forests, are a tropical and subtropical forest biome....

 to polar region
Polar region
Earth's polar regions are the areas of the globe surrounding the poles also known as frigid zones. The North Pole and South Pole being the centers, these regions are dominated by the polar ice caps, resting respectively on the Arctic Ocean and the continent of Antarctica...

s, and contains over 1,500 animals, some of which roam freely.

Middle Ages to 20th century


During the end of the Middle Ages, Madrid experienced astronomic growth as a consequence of its establishment as the new capital of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

. As Spain (like many other European countries) continued to centralize royal authority, this meant that Madrid took on greater importance as a center of administration for the Spanish Kingdom
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. It evolved to become an important nucleus of artisan
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

al activity that eventually experienced industrial revolution during the 19th century. The city made even greater strides at expansion during the 20th century, especially after the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, reaching levels of industrialization found in other European capital cities. The economy of the city was then centred on diverse manufacturing industries such as those related to motor vehicle
Motor vehicle
A motor vehicle or road vehicle is a self-propelled wheeled vehicle that does not operate on rails, such as trains or trolleys. The vehicle propulsion is provided by an engine or motor, usually by an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor, or some combination of the two, such as hybrid...

s, aircraft, chemicals, electronic devices, pharmaceuticals, processed food
Food processing
Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry...

, printed materials, and leather goods.

1992 to 2008



Madrid is a major centre for international business
International Business
International business is a term used to collectively describe all commercial transactions that take place between two or more regions, countries and nations beyond their political boundary...

 and commerce. It is one of Europe's largest financial centres and the largest in Spain.

During the period from 1992 to 2006, Madrid experienced very significant growth in its service sector. The most notable of these services are those geared towards companies, followed by transport and communications, property and financial services. These four groups generate 51% of gross value added for Madrid’s economy and 62% of gross value added for the services sector. The importance of the Barajas Airport to the city's economy is substantial. The construction of housing and public works
Public works
Public works are a broad category of projects, financed and constructed by the government, for recreational, employment, and health and safety uses in the greater community...

, such as the ringroads and train network, constituted a major pillar of the economy up to 2006.

As Spain has become decentralized politically, Madrid has taken on a smaller administrative profile as compared to the rest of the Spanish state. Even so, the Community of Madrid (centred upon the city of Madrid) experienced the highest growth of all the Spanish regions between 2004 to 2006. Its growth rate was higher than for the country as a whole by 1.4% during the period 2000–2006, and that of the Eurozone
Eurozone
The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

 by 13%.

Madrid has become the 23rd richest city in the world and third richest in Europe in terms of absolute GDP; the economic output for the year 2005 was of $201.5 billion, behind the considerably larger cities of Paris ($460 billion) and London ($452 billion) and ahead of Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

. Additionally in terms of GDP per capita
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

, Madrid, in specific the Madrid region is the richest in Spain and one of the richest in Europe. At 133.9% of the European average of 25,800€ (34,572€/$48,313) Madrid is ahead of the all other 8 Spanish regions above 100%. Similarly, Madrid is just 97.8% of New York's purchasing power
Purchasing power
Purchasing power is the number of goods/services that can be purchased with a unit of currency. For example, if you had taken one dollar to a store in the 1950s, you would have been able to buy a greater number of items than you would today, indicating that you would have had a greater purchasing...

.

Madrid is a world´s financial leader, rising to the top five Centres of Commerce in Europe. Madrid continues its upward trajectory as a key European city, rising from its 2007 spot at number 16 to number 11 globally and from number 6 to the number 5 spot in Europe. Madrid's stable GDP, exchange rate and strong bond market, coupled with a high standard of living, place this city in the company of Europe's most prominent cities: London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 and Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

.

Madrid is one of the cities in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 that attracts most foreign investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 and job seekers. The average salary
Salary
A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages, where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic basis....

 in Madrid during 2007 was 2540€, clearly above the Spanish average of 2085€. In terms of net earnings, Madrid also places first in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

; Madrid is 28th in the world, at 78.6%.

Demographics

Year Municipality Community %
1897 542,739 730,807 74.27
1900 575,675 773,011 74.47
1910 614,322 831,254 73.90
1920 823,711 1,048,908 78.53
1930 1,041,767 1,290,445 80.73
1940 1,322,835 1,574,134 84.04
1950 1,553,338 1,823,418 85.19
1960 2,177,123 2,510,217 86.73
1970 3,120,941 3,761,348 82.97
1981 3,158,818 4,686,895 67.40
1991 3,010,492 4,647,555 64.78
2001 2,938,723 5,423,384 54.19
2005 3,155,359 5,964,143 52.90
2006 3,128,600 6,008,183 52.07
2007 3,132,463 6,081,689 51.51
2008 3,213,271 6,271,638 51.23
2009 3,255,944 6,386,932 50.98
2010 3.273.049 6.458.684 50.68
Source: INE

The population of Madrid generally increased from when the city became the national capital in the mid-16th century and stabilised at about 3 million from the 1970s.

From around 1970 until the mid 1990s, the city's population dropped. This phenomenon, which also affected other European cities, was caused in part by the growth of satellite suburbs at the expense of the downtown. Another reason might have been the slowdown in the rate of growth of the European economy.

The demographic boom
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

 accelerated in the late 1990s and early first decade of the 21st century due to international immigration, in response to a surge in Spanish economic growth
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

. According to census data, the population of the city grew by 271,856 between 2001 and 2005.

As the capital city of Spain, the city has attracted many immigrants from around the world. About 83.8% of the inhabitants are Spaniards, while people of other origins, including immigrants from Latin America, Europe, Asia, North Africa and West Africa, represented 16.2% of the population in 2007.

The ten largest immigrant groups include: Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

ian: 104,184, Romanian
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

: 52,875, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

n: 44,044, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

n: 35,971, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

vian: 35,083, Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

: 34,666, Moroccan
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

: 32,498, Dominican
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

: 19,602, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian: 14,583, and Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

an: 14,308. There are also important communities of Filipinos
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea where the capital Malabo is situated.Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the...

ns, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

ns, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

ns, Italians
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Argentines
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

ese and Poles
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

.

Districts that host the largest number of immigrants are Usera
Usera
Usera is one of the 21 districts of the city of Madrid, Spain.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 7 wards :*Almendrales*Moscardó*Orcasitas*Orcasur*Pradolongo*San Fermín*Zofío...

 (28.37%), Centro
Centro (Madrid)
Centro is the central district of the city of Madrid, Spain. It is approximately 5,23 km² in size. It has a population of 148,714 and a population density of 28434,8/km².-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 6 wards :...

 (26.87%), Carabanchel
Carabanchel
Carabanchel is a district in the south western suburbs of Madrid, Spain.-Overview:The area was the scene of fierce fighting during the Spanish Civil War -especially in November 1936, during the Battle of Madrid, when Nationalist troops tried to fight their way into the area. Unacustomed to street...

 (22.72%) and Tetuán
Tetuán (Madrid)
Tetuán is a district of Madrid, Spain. The district takes its name from Tetouan, Morocco. Which was the capital of the former Spanish protectorate in northern Morocco.-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 6 wards :...

 (21.54%). Districts that host the smallest number are Fuencarral-El Pardo (9.27%), Retiro
Retiro (Madrid)
Retiro is a district located at the southeast of the city centre of Madrid, Spain. Its area is of 5.38 km2, the number of houses is 46,512 and the population, as of 2005, was of 126,058 .-History:...

 (9.64%) and Chamartin
Chamartín
Chamartín is an administrative district of Madrid, Spain and consists of the following neighborhoods: El Viso, Prosperidad, Ciudad Jardín, Hispanoamérica, Nueva España, and Pza...

 (11.74%).

Government



The City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 consists of 57 members, one of them being the Mayor, currently Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón Jiménez
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón Jiménez is a Spanish politician and mayor of Madrid. A stalwart of the conservative People's Party , he has previously been a leading figure in various local and national legislative bodies.-Personal life:...

. The Mayor presides over the Council.

The Plenary of the Council, is the body of political representation
Representation (politics)
In politics, representation describes how some individuals stand in for others or a group of others, for a certain time period. Representation usually refers to representative democracies, where elected officials nominally speak for their constituents in the legislature...

 of the citizens in the municipal government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

. Some of its attributions are: fiscal matters, the election and deposition of the Mayor, the approval and modification of decrees and regulations, the approval of budgets, the agreements related to the limits and alteration of the municipal term, the services management, the participation in supramunicipal organizations, etc. Nowadays, mayoral team
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

  consists of the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and 8 Delegates; all of them form The Board of Delegates (the Municipal Executive Committee).

Madrid has tended to be a stronghold of the People's Party
People's Party (Spain)
The People's Party is a conservative political party in Spain.The People's Party was a re-foundation in 1989 of the People's Alliance , a party led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of Tourism during Francisco Franco's dictatorship...

, which has controlled the city's mayoralty since 1989. In the 2007 regional and local elections, the conservative People's Party
People's Party (Spain)
The People's Party is a conservative political party in Spain.The People's Party was a re-foundation in 1989 of the People's Alliance , a party led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of Tourism during Francisco Franco's dictatorship...

 (PP, centre-right political party) obtained 34 seats, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is a social-democratic political party in Spain. Its political position is Centre-left. The PSOE is the former ruling party of Spain, until beaten in the elections of November 2011 and the second oldest, exceeded only by the Partido Carlista, founded in...

 (PSOE, centre-left political party) obtained 18 and United Left
United Left (Spain)
The United Left is a political coalition that was organized in 1986 bringing together several political organisations opposed to Spain joining NATO. It was formed by a number of groups of leftists, greens, left-wing socialists and republicans, but was dominated by the Communist Party of Spain...

 (IU, left political party) obtained 5.

Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón Jiménez
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón Jiménez is a Spanish politician and mayor of Madrid. A stalwart of the conservative People's Party , he has previously been a leading figure in various local and national legislative bodies.-Personal life:...

 has been in office since 2003, when he left the Presidency of the Autonomous Community of Madrid and stood as the candidate to replace outgoing mayor José María Álvarez del Manzano
José María Álvarez del Manzano
José María Álvarez del Manzano y López del Hierro is a Spanish politician for the People's Party. Although born in Seville he has lived in Madrid since he was 3 years old. He studied at the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo. He was the mayor of Madrid from 1991 to 2003...

, also from the PP. In the last local elections of 2007, Ruiz-Gallardón increased the PP majority in the City Council to 34 seats out of 57, taking 55.5% of the popular vote and winning in all but two districts.

Culture


Madrid is one of Spain's most popular destinations and is renowned for its large quantity of cultural attractions.

Art galleries and museums


Madrid is considered one of the top European destinations concerning art museums. Best known is the Golden Triangle of Art
Golden Triangle of Art
The Golden Triangle of Art is made up of three important art museums that are close to each other in the centre of Madrid, Spain. They form a general triangle shape upon a map.The three art museums are:...

, located along the Paseo del Prado
Paseo del Prado
The Paseo del Prado is one of the main boulevards in Madrid, Spain. It runs north-south between the Plaza de Cibeles and the Plaza del Emperador Carlos V , with the Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo lying approximately in the middle...

 and comprising three museums. The most famous one is the Prado Museum
Museo del Prado
The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of...

, known for such highlights as Diego Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

's Las Meninas
Las Meninas
Las Meninas is a 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age, in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The work's complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures...

 and Francisco de Goya
Francisco Goya
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era...

's La maja vestida
La Maja Vestida
La maja vestida is a painting by Spanish painter Francisco de Goya between 1798 and 1805. It is a clothed version of La maja desnuda and is exhibited next to it in the same room at the Prado Museum in Madrid...

 and La maja desnuda
La Maja Desnuda
La maja desnuda is an oil on canvas painting by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya , portraying a nude woman reclining on a bed of pillows. It was executed some time between 1797 and 1800, and is sometimes said to be the first clear depiction of female pubic hair in a large Western painting...

. The other two museums are the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, established from a mixed private collection, and the Reina Sofia Museum
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is the official name of Spain's national museum of 20th century art . The museum was officially inaugurated on September 10, 1992 and is named for Queen Sofia of Spain...

, where Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

's Guernica
Guernica (painting)
Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War...

 hangs, returning to Spain from New York after more than two decades.

The Museo del Prado
Museo del Prado
The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of...

 is a museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

 and art gallery
Art gallery
An art gallery or art museum is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art.Museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum is the ownership of a collection...

 that features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection. The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings, in addition to a large number of works of art and historic documents. El Prado is one of the most visited museums in the world, and it is considered to be among the greatest museums of art. It has the best collection of artworks by Goya, Velázquez, El Greco
El Greco
El Greco was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" was a nickname, a reference to his ethnic Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος .El Greco was born on Crete, which was at...

, Rubens
Rubens
Rubens is often used to refer to Peter Paul Rubens , the Flemish artist.Rubens may also refer to:- People :Family name* Paul Rubens Rubens is often used to refer to Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), the Flemish artist.Rubens may also refer to:- People :Family name* Paul Rubens (composer) Rubens is...

, Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

, Hieronymus Bosch, José de Ribera and Patinir; and works by Rogier van der Weyden, Raphael
Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

, Tintoretto
Tintoretto
Tintoretto , real name Jacopo Comin, was a Venetian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso...

, Veronese
Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi...

, Caravaggio
Caravaggio
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque...

, Van Dyck, Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

, Claude Lorrain
Claude Lorrain
Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English (also Claude Gellée, his real name, or in French Claude Gellée, , dit le Lorrain) Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English (also Claude Gellée, his real name, or in French...

, Murillo
Bartolomé Estéban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children...

 and Zurbarán, among others.

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is the official name of Spain's national museum of 20th century art . The museum was officially inaugurated on September 10, 1992 and is named for Queen Sofia of Spain...

 (MNCARS) is the Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

's national museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

 of 20th century art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

. The museum is mainly dedicated to Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain's greatest 20th century masters, Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

, Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

, Joan Miró
Joan Miró
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona.Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride...

, Juan Gris
Juan Gris
José Victoriano González-Pérez , better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France most of his life...

 and Julio González
Julio González (sculptor)
Juli González i Pellicer was a Catalan abstract and cubist painter and sculptor.-Biography:Born in Barcelona, as a young man he worked with his older brother, Joan, in his father's metal smith workshop. Both brothers took evening classes in art at the Escuela de Bellas Artes...

. Certainly the most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso's painting Guernica
Guernica (painting)
Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War...

. The Reina Sofía also hosts a free-access library specializing in art, with a collection of over 100,000 books, over 3,500 sound recordings and almost 1,000 videos.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is an art museum that fills the historical gaps in its counterparts' collections: in the Prado's case this includes Italian primitives and works from the English
English art
English art is the body of visual arts made in England. Following historical surveys such as Creative Art In England by William Johnstone , Nikolaus Pevsner attempted a definition in his 1956 book The Englishness of English Art, as did Sir Roy Strong in his 2000 book The Spirit of Britain: A...

, Dutch
Dutch School (painting)
The Dutch School were painters in the Netherlands from the early Renaissance to the Baroque. It includes Early Netherlandish and Dutch Renaissance artists active in the northern Low Countries and, later, Dutch Golden Age painting in the United Provinces.Many painters, sculptors and architects of...

 and German schools, while in the case of the Reina Sofia the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, once the second largest private collection in the world after the British Royal Collection
Royal Collection
The Royal Collection is the art collection of the British Royal Family. It is property of the monarch as sovereign, but is held in trust for her successors and the nation. It contains over 7,000 paintings, 40,000 watercolours and drawings, and about 150,000 old master prints, as well as historical...

, includes Impressionists, Expressionists, and European and American paintings from the second half of the 20th century, with over 1,600 paintings.

The Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando
Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
The Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando , located on the Calle de Alcalá in the heart of Madrid, currently functions as a museum and gallery....

 currently functions as a museum and gallery that houses a fine art collection of paintings from the 15th to 20th century: Giovanni Bellini
Giovanni Bellini
Giovanni Bellini was an Italian Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. His father was Jacopo Bellini, his brother was Gentile Bellini, and his brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it...

, Correggio, Rubens
Rubens
Rubens is often used to refer to Peter Paul Rubens , the Flemish artist.Rubens may also refer to:- People :Family name* Paul Rubens Rubens is often used to refer to Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), the Flemish artist.Rubens may also refer to:- People :Family name* Paul Rubens (composer) Rubens is...

, Zurbarán, Murillo
Bartolomé Estéban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children...

, Goya, Juan Gris
Juan Gris
José Victoriano González-Pérez , better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France most of his life...

, Pablo Serrano. The academy is also the headquarters of the Madrid Academy of Art. Francisco Goya
Francisco Goya
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era...

 was once one of the academy's directors, and, its alumni include Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

, Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

, Antonio López García
Antonio López García
Antonio López García is a Spanish painter and sculptor, known for his realistic style. He is criticized by some art critics for neo-academism, but praised by others, like Robert Hughes, who consider him a master realist. His style sometimes is deemed hyperrealistic...

, Juan Luna
Juan Luna
Juan Luna y Novicio was an Ilocano Filipino painter, sculptor and a political activist of the Philippine Revolution during the late 19th century...

, and Fernando Botero
Fernando Botero
Fernando Botero Angulo is a Colombian figurative artist. His works feature a figurative style, called by some "Boterismo", which gives them an unmistakable identity...

.

The Royal Palace of Madrid
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Palacio Real de Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid...

 is the official residence of Juan Carlos I of Spain
Juan Carlos I of Spain
Juan Carlos I |Italy]]) is the reigning King of Spain.On 22 November 1975, two days after the death of General Francisco Franco, Juan Carlos was designated king according to the law of succession promulgated by Franco. Spain had no monarch for 38 years in 1969 when Franco named Juan Carlos as the...

, but he uses it only for official acts. It is a baroque palace full of artworks is one of the largest European Royal Palaces, which is characterized by its luxurious rooms and its rich collections of armors and weapons, pharmaceutical, silverware, watches, paintings, tapestries and the most comprehensive collection of Stradivarius
Antonio Stradivari
Antonio Stradivari was an Italian luthier and a crafter of string instruments such as violins, cellos, guitars, violas, and harps. Stradivari is generally considered the most significant artisan in this field. The Latinized form of his surname, Stradivarius, as well as the colloquial, "Strad", is...

 in the world

The National Archaeological Museum of Spain
National Archaeological Museum of Spain
The National Archaeological Museum of Spain is a museum in Madrid, Spain, located beside the Plaza de Colón , sharing its building with the National Library....

 collection includes, among others, Pre-historic
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

, Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic, Iberian
Iberians
The Iberians were a set of peoples that Greek and Roman sources identified with that name in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula at least from the 6th century BC...

, Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 antiquities and medieval
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 (Visigoth
Visigoth
The Visigoths were one of two main branches of the Goths, the Ostrogoths being the other. These tribes were among the Germans who spread through the late Roman Empire during the Migration Period...

ic, Muslim and Christian) objects. Highlights include a replica of the Altamira
Altamira (cave)
Altamira is a cave in Spain famous for its Upper Paleolithic cave paintings featuring drawings and polychrome rock paintings of wild mammals and human hands....

 cave (the first cave in which prehistoric cave paintings were discovered), Lady of Elx
Lady of Elx
The enigmatic Lady of Elche or Lady of Elx is a once polychrome stone bust that was discovered by chance in 1897 at L'Alcúdia, an archaeological site on a private estate about two kilometers south of Elx/Elche, Valencia, Spain...

 (an enigmatic polychrome stone bust), Lady of Baza
Lady of Baza
The Lady of Baza is a famous example of Iberian sculpture by the Bastetani. It is a limestone female figure with traces of painted detail in a stuccoed surface that was found on July 22, 1971 by Francisco José Presedo Velo, at Baza, in the altiplano, the high tableland in the northwest of the...

 (a famous example of Iberian sculpture), Biche of Balazote
Biche of Balazote
The so-called Bicha of Balazote is an Iberian sculpture that was found in the borough of Balazote in Albacete province , Spain. It was first studied by a group of French archaeologists who identified it as a kind of deer, hence the name 'biche' , which was then Castillianized to 'bicha', i.e.,...

 (an iberian sculpture) and Treasure of Guarrazar
Treasure of Guarrazar
The Treasure of Guarrazar is an archeological find composed of twenty-six votive crowns and gold crosses that had originally been offered to the Roman Catholic Church by the Kings of the Visigoths in the seventh century in Hispania, as a gesture of the orthodoxy of their faith and their submission...

 (a treasure that represents the best surviving group of Early Medieval Christian votive offerings and the high point of Visigothic goldsmith's work).

The Museum of the Americas
Museum of the Americas (Madrid)
The Museum of America in Madrid is a National museum that holds artistic, archaeological and ethnographic collections from the whole American continent, ranging from the Paleolithic period to the present day....

  is a National museum that holds artistic, archaeological and ethnographic collections from the whole American continent, ranging from the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 period to the present day. The permanent exhibit is divided into five major thematical areas: an awareness of America, the reality of America, society, religion and communication.
The National Museum of Natural Sciences
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
The Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales is the National Museum of Natural History of Spain. It is situated in the center of Madrid, by the Paseo de la Castellana. It is managed by the Spanish National Research Council....

 is the National Museum
National museum
A national museum is a museum maintained by a nation.The following is a list of national museums:-Australia:*Australian National Aviation Museum*Australian National Maritime Museum*, Sydney*Australian War Memorial*Museum Victoria...

 of Natural History
Natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

 of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The research departments of the museum are: Biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

 and Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Ecology
Evolutionary ecology
Evolutionary ecology lies at the intersection of ecology and evolutionary biology. It approaches the study of ecology in a way that explicitly considers the evolutionary histories of species and the interactions between them. Conversely, it can be seen as an approach to the study of evolution that...

, Paleobiology
Paleobiology
Paleobiology is a growing and comparatively new discipline which combines the methods and findings of the natural science biology with the methods and findings of the earth science paleontology...

, Vulcanology and Geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

.

The Naval Museum is managed by the Ministry of Defence. The Museum's mission is to acquire, preserve, investigate, report and display for study, education and contemplation, parts, sets and collections of historical, artistic, scientific and technical related to naval activity in order to disseminate the story sea of Spain; to help illustrate, highlight and preserve their traditions and promote national maritime awareness.

The Monastery of Las Descalzas Reales resides in the former palace of King Charles I of Spain and Isabel of Portugal. Their daughter, Joan of Austria, founded this convent of nuns of the Poor Clare order in 1559. Throughout the remainder of the 16th century and into the 17th century, the convent attracted young widowed or spinster noblewomen. Each woman brought with her a dowry. The riches quickly piled up, and the convent became one of the richest convents in all of Europe. It has many works of Renaissance and Baroque art, including a recumbent Christ by Gaspar Becerra, a staircase whose paintings were painted by unknown author (perhaps Velázquez) and they are considered the masterpiece of Spanish illusionist paint, and Brussels tapestries inspired in paintings by Rubens.

The Museo Lázaro Galdiano
José Lázaro Galdiano
José Lázaro Galdiano was a Spanish financier, journalist, publisher and art collector, who at the time of his death owned one of the largest and most significant art collections in Spain. He was described in 1940 as "one of the greatest patrons of culture in nineteenth century Spain"...

 houses an encyclopedic collection specializing in decorative arts.
The collection includes paintings by Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, Claudio Coello
Claudio Coello
Claudio Coello was a Spanish Baroque painter. Influenced by many other artists, including Diego Velázquez who was also of Portuguese descent, Coello is considered the last great Spanish painter of the 17th century....

, Goya, Pedro Berruguete
Pedro Berruguete
Pedro Berruguete was a Spanish painter; his art is regarded as a transitional style between gothic and Renaissance. Born in Paredes de Nava, Spain, he went to Italy in 1480 and worked in Federico III da Montefeltro's court in Urbino, where he could see some works by Melozzo da Forlì...

, El Greco
El Greco
El Greco was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" was a nickname, a reference to his ethnic Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος .El Greco was born on Crete, which was at...

, Hieronymus Bosch, Rembrandt, Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough was an English portrait and landscape painter.-Suffolk:Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk. He was the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woolen goods. At the age of thirteen he impressed his father with his penciling skills so that he let...

, Thomas Lawrence
Thomas Lawrence
Thomas Lawrence may refer to:*Sir Thomas Lawrence, British artist, President of Royal Academy*Thomas Lawrence , mayor of colonial Philadelphia*T. E. Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia"*Thomas Lawrence , U.S. politician...

 and Joshua Reynolds
Joshua Reynolds
Sir Joshua Reynolds RA FRS FRSA was an influential 18th-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first President of the Royal Academy...

, sculptures by Giambologna
Giambologna
Giambologna, born as Jean Boulogne, incorrectly known as Giovanni da Bologna and Giovanni Bologna , was a sculptor, known for his marble and bronze statuary in a late Renaissance or Mannerist style.- Biography :...

 and Verrocchio; 10th century Byzantine enamel; Arab and Byzantine ivory chests; Hellenistic, Roman, medieval, renaissance, baroque and romantic jewerly; Pisanello
Pisanello
Pisanello , known professionally as Antonio di Puccio Pisano or Antonio di Puccio da Cereto, also erroneously called Vittore Pisano by Giorgio Vasari, was one of the most distinguished painters of the early Italian Renaissance and Quattrocento...

 and Pompeo Leoni medals; Spanish and Italian ceramics; Italian and Arab clothes; and an interesting collection of weapons including the sword of Pope Innocent VIII.

The Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas (National Museum of Decorative Arts) is one of the oldest museums in the city. It illustrates the evolution of the called "minor arts" (furniture, ceramics and glass, textile, etc.). Its 60 rooms expones 15,000 objects, of the approximate 40,000 which it has.

The Museo Nacional del Romanticismo (National Museum of Romanticism) contains a large collection of artefacts and art, focusing on daily life and customs of the 19th century, with special attention to the aesthetics about Romanticism.

The Museo Cerralbo houses a private collection of ancient works of art, artifacts and other antiquities collected by Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa, XVII Cerralbo Marquis.

The Museo Nacional de Antropología
Museo Nacional de Antropología
The Museo Nacional de Antropología is a national museum of Mexico. Located in the area between Paseo de la Reforma and Calle Mahatma Gandhi within Chapultepec Park in Mexico City, the museum contains significant archaeological and anthropological artifacts from the pre-Columbian heritage of...

(National Museum of Antropology) provides an overview of the different cultures in the world, with objects and human remains from around the world, highlighting a Guanche
Guanches
Guanches is the name given to the aboriginal Berber inhabitants of the Canary Islands. It is believed that they migrated to the archipelago sometime between 1000 BCE and 100 BCE or perhaps earlier...

 mummy of the island of Tenerife.

The Museo Sorolla is located in the building in which the Valencian Impressionist painter had his home and workshop. The collection includes, in addition to numerous works of Joaquín Sorolla, a large number of objects that possessed the artist, including sculptures by August Rodin.
CaixaForum Madrid
CaixaForum Madrid
CaixaForum Madrid is a post-modern art gallery in the centre of Madrid, Spain. It is sponsored by the Catalan-Balearic bank la Caixa and located next to the Paseo del Prado at number 36....

 is a post-modern art gallery in the centre of Madrid. It is sponsored by the Catalan-Balearic bank la Caixa and located next to the Salón del Prado. Although the CaixaForum is a modern building, it also exhibits retrospectives of artists from earlier time periods and has evolved into one of the most visited museums in Madrid. It was constructed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron from 2001 to 2007, which combined an old unused industrial building and hollowed it out at the base and inside and placed on top further floors which are encased with rusted steel. Next to it is an art installation of green plants growing on the wall of the neighbouring house by French botanist Patrick Blanc. The red of the top floors with the green of the wall next to it form a contrast. The green is in reflection of the neighbouring Royal Botanical Gardens.

Another art galleries and museums in Madrid are, among others:
  • Casa-Museo José Padilla
  • Casa-Museo Manuel Benedito
  • Museo de Antropologia Médica
  • Museo De La Farmacia Hispana
  • Museo Del Reloj Grassy, at Edificio Grassy
    Edificio Grassy
    The Edificio Grassy is a building located in Gran Vía 1, in Madrid, Spain.-Architecture:Situated just off Calle de Alcalá, at the very beginning of Gran Vía, the Edificio Grassy was built between 1916 and 1917. It was constructed on a triangular piece of land, in the same way as the Edificio...

  • Museo Casa de la Moneda
  • Museo de Historia de Madrid
  • Museo de los Orígenes
  • Royal Palace of El Pardo

Churches





Madrid has a considerable number of Catholic churches, some of them are between the most important Spanish religious artworks.

The oldest church that survives today is San Nicolás de los Servitas
San Nicolas de los Servitas Church, Madrid
The Church of San Nicolas de los Servitas, also known as the church of Church of San Nicolas de Bari is Catholic parish church in central Madrid, Spain.- History :...

, whose oldest item is the bell tower (12th century), in Mudejar style. The next oldest temple is San Pedro el Real
San Pedro el Real, Madrid
The Church of San Pedro el Real , also known as San Pedro el Viejo is a small medieval church in central Madrid, Spain....

, with its high brick tower.

St. Jerome Church
San Jerónimo el Real
San Jerónimo el Real is a Roman Catholic church from the early 16th-century in central Madrid .The church, which has undergone numerous remodelings and restorations over the centuries is the remaining structure of the Hieronymite monastery that once stood beside the royal palace of Buen Retiro, of...

 is a gothic church next to El Prado Museum. The Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

 ordered its construction in the 15th century, as part of a vanished monastery. The monastery's cloister is preserved. It has recently been renovated by Rafael Moneo
Rafael Moneo
José Rafael Moneo Vallés is a Spanish architect. He was born in Tudela, Spain, and won the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1996. He studied at the ETSAM, Technical University of Madrid from which he received his architectural degree in 1961. From 1958 to 1961 he worked in the office in Madrid...

, with the goal to house the neoclassical collection of El Prado Museum, and also sculptures by Leone Leoni
Leone Leoni
Leone Leoni was an Italian sculptor of international outlook who travelled in Italy, Germany, Austria, France, the Spanish Netherlands and Spain. Leoni is regarded as the finest of the Cinquecento medallists. He made his reputation in commissions he received from the Habsburg monarchs Charles V,...

 and Pompeo Leoni.

The Bishop Chapel is a gothic chapel which was built in the 16th century by order of the Bishop of Plasencia, Gutierre de Vargas. It was originally built to house the remains of Saint Isidore Laborer
San Isidro Labrador
San Isidro Labrador is a municipality in the Chalatenango department of El Salvador....

 (Madrid's patron saint), but it was used as the Vargas family mausoleum. Inside are the altairpiece and the tombs of the Vargas family, which were the work of Francisco Giralte, a disciple of Alonso Berruguete
Alonso Berruguete
Alonso González de Berruguete was a Spanish painter, sculptor and architect. He is considered to be the most important sculptor of the Spanish Renaissance, and is known for his emotive sculptures depicting religious ecstasy or torment.Born in the town of Paredes de Nava, Berrugete studied art...

. They are considered masterpieces of Spanish Renaissance sculpture.
St. Isidore Cathedral
San Isidro Church, Madrid
The church of San Isidro el Real, also known as the church of the Colegiata or Collegium of San Isidro, is a Baroque church in central Madrid, central Spain...

 was built between 1620–1664 by order of Empress Maria of Austria, daughter of Charles V of Germany and I of Spain
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, to become part of a school run by the Jesuits which still exists today. Its dome is the first example of a dome drawing on a wooden frame covered with plaster, which, given its lightness makes it easy to support the walls. It was the cathedral of Madrid between 1885 and 1993, which is the time it took to build the Almudena. The artwork inside were mostly burned during the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, but it retained the tomb that holds the incorrupt body of Saint Isidore Laborer
San Isidro Labrador
San Isidro Labrador is a municipality in the Chalatenango department of El Salvador....

 and the urn containing the ashes of his wife Maria Torribia
María Torribia
Maria Torribia was a Spanish peasant woman who is believed to have married Saint Isidore. She herself was eventually beatified by the Roman Catholic Church, and is known in Spain as Santa María de la Cabeza .Torribia is believed to have been born in Uceda, in the Spanish province of Guadalajara...

.

Royal Convent of La Encarnación
Royal Convent of La Encarnación
The Royal Monastery of the Incarnation or Real Monasterio de la Encarnación is a convent of the order of Recolet Augustines located in Madrid, Spain. The institution mainly interned women from noble families, and was founded by the Queen Margaret of Austria, wife of Philip III, and thus was well...

 is an Augustinian Recollect convent. The institution, which belonged ladies of the nobility, was founded by Queen Margaret of Austria, wife of Philip III of Spain
Philip III of Spain
Philip III , also known as Philip the Pious, was the King of Spain and King of Portugal and the Algarves, where he ruled as Philip II , from 1598 until his death...

, in the early 17th century. Due to the frescoes and sculptures which houses is one of the most prominent temples in the city. The building's architect was Fray Alberto de la Madre de Dios, who built it between 1611 and 1616. The façade responds to an inspiring Herrerian
Herrerian
The Herrerian was developed in Spain during the last third of the 16th century under the reign of Philip II , and continued in force in the 17th century, but transformed by the Baroque current of the time...

 style, with great austerity,and it was imitated by other Spanish churches. The church's interior is a sumptuous work by the great Baroque architect Ventura Rodriguez
Ventura Rodríguez
Ventura Rodríguez Tizón was a Spanish architect and artist. Born at Ciempozuelos, Rodríguez was the son of a bricklayer. In 1727, he collaborated with his father in the work at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez.-Major works:...

.
In the church are preserved shrines containing the blood of St. Januarius and St. Pantaleon, the second (according to tradition) liquefies every year on the saint's day on 27 July.

San Antonio de los Alemanes (St. Anthony Church) is a pretty 17th century church which was originally part of a Portuguese hospital. Subsequently it was donated to the Germans living in the city.
The interior of the church has been recently restored. It has some beautiful frescoes painted by Luca Giordano, Francisco Carreño and Francisco Rizi
Francisco Rizi
Francisco Rizi was a Spanish painter born at Madrid.He was the son of Antonio Rizi, a native of Bologna, who had accompanied Federico Zuccari into Spain....

. The frescoes represent some kings of Spain, Hungary, France, Germany and Bohemia. They all sit looking at the paintings in the vault, which represent the life of Saint Anthony of Padua.
Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida
Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida
The Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida is a Neoclassical chapel in central Madrid. The chapel is best known for its ceiling and dome frescoes by Goya. It is also his burial place.-History:...

 is sometimes named the "Goya's Sixtine Chapel". The chapel was built on orders of King Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788 until his abdication on 19 March 1808.-Early life:...

, who also commissioned the frescoes by Goya. These were completed over a six month period in 1798. The frescoes portray miracles by Saint Anthony of Padua, including one which occurred in Lisbon, but which the painter has relocated to Madrid. On every June 13, the chapel becomes the site of a lively pilgrimage in which young unwed women come to pray to St. Anthony and to ask for a partner.
San Francisco el Grande Basilica
San Francisco el Grande Basilica, Madrid
The Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is a Roman Catholic church in central Madrid, Spain, located in the Barrio of La Latina. The main façade faces the Plaza of San Francisco, at the intersection of Bailén, the Gran Vía de san Francisco, and the Carrera de san Francisco...

 was built in neoclassical style in the second half of the 18th century by Francesco Sabatini
Francesco Sabatini
Francesco Sabatini , also known as Francisco Sabatini, was an Italian architect of the 18th century who worked in Spain.-Biography:Born in Palermo, he studied architecture in Rome...

. It has the fifth largest diameter dome to Christianity. (33 meters in diameter: it's smaller than the dome of the Rome's Pantheon (43.4meters), St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

 (42.4 meters), the Florence Cathedral (42 meters)and the Rotunda of Mosta
Rotunda of Mosta
The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, commonly known as the Rotunda of Mosta or Rotunda of St Marija Assunta is a Roman Catholic church in Mosta, Malta...

 (37.2 meters) in Malta, but it's larger than St. Paul's Cathedral (30.8 meters) in London and Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey...

 (31.8 meters) in Istanbul).
The church is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, who according to legend was established in Madrid during his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

. Its sumptuous interior features many artworks, including paintings by Goya and Zurbarán.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena is the episcopal seat of the Archdiocese of Madrid. It is a temple of 102 meters long and 73 high, built during the 19th and 20th century in a mixture of different styles: neoclassical exterior, neo-Gothic interior and neo-Romanesque crypt and neo-Byzantine abse's paints.
The cathedral was built in the same place which was built the Moorish citadel (al-mudayna) in Madrid. It was consecrated by Pope John Paul II on his fourth trip to Spain on June 15, 1993, thus being the only Spanish cathedral dedicated by a pope.

Literature




Madrid has been one of the great centers of Spanish literature. In this city were born some of the best writers of the Spanish Golden Century, including: Lope de Vega
Lope de Vega
Félix Arturo Lope de Vega y Carpio was a Spanish playwright and poet. He was one of the key figures in the Spanish Golden Century Baroque literature...

 (Fuente Ovejuna
Fuente Ovejuna
Fuenteovejuna is a play by the Spanish playwright, Lope de Vega. First published in Madrid in 1619 as part of Docena Parte de las Comedias de Lope de Vega Carpio , the play is believed to have been written between 1612 and 1614...

, The Dog in the Manger
The Dog in the Manger
The story and metaphor of The Dog in the Manger derives from an old Greek fable which has been transmitted in several different versions. Interpreted variously over the centuries, it is used now of those who spitefully prevent others from having something that they themselves have no use for...

, The Knight of Olmedo), who reformed the Spanish theater, a work continued by Calderon de la Barca (Life is a Dream), Francisco de Quevedo
Francisco de Quevedo
Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas was a Spanish nobleman, politician and writer of the Baroque era. Along with his lifelong rival, Luis de Góngora, Quevedo was one of the most prominent Spanish poets of the age. His style is characterized by what was called conceptismo...

, Spanish nobleman and writer famous for his satires, which criticized the Spanish society of his time, and author of ´El Buscón
El Buscón
El Buscón is a picaresque novel by Francisco de Quevedo...

. And finally, Tirso de Molina
Tirso de Molina
Tirso de Molina was a Spanish Baroque dramatist, poet and a Roman Catholic monk.Originally Gabriel Téllez, he was born in Madrid. He studied at Alcalá de Henares, joined the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy on November 4, 1600, and entered the Monastery of San Antolín at Guadalajara,...

, who created the famous character Don Juan
Don Juan
Don Juan is a legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors. El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra by Tirso de Molina is a play set in the fourteenth century that was published in Spain around 1630...

. In addition, Cervantes
Cervantes
-People:*Alfonso J. Cervantes , mayor of St. Louis, Missouri*Francisco Cervantes de Salazar, 16th-century man of letters*Ignacio Cervantes, Cuban composer*Jorge Cervantes, a world-renowned expert on indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse cannabis cultivation...

 and Góngora
Gongora
Gongora, abbreviated Gga in horticultural trade, is a member of the Orchid family . It consists of 65 species known from Central America, Trinidad, and tropical South America, with most species found in Colombia...

 also lived in the city, although they not born there. The homes of Lope de Vega, Quevedo, Gongora and Cervantes are still preserved, and they are all in the Barrio de las Letras (Letters Neigtbourhood).

Other writers born in Madrid in later centuries have been Leandro Fernandez de Moratín
Leandro Fernández de Moratín
Leandro Fernández de Moratín was a Spanish dramatist, translator and neoclassical poet.-Biography:Moratín was born in Madrid the son of Nicolás Fernández de Moratín, a major literary reformer in Spain from 1762 until his death in 1780.Distrusting the teaching offered in Spain's universities at...

, Mariano José de Larra
Mariano José de Larra
Mariano José de Larra was a Spanish romantic writer best known for his numerous essays, as well as his infamous suicide...

, Jose de Echegaray (Nobel Prize in Literature), Ramón Gómez de la Serna
Ramón Gómez de la Serna
Ramón Gómez de la Serna Puig was a Spanish writer, dramatist and avant-garde agitator. He strongly influenced surrealist film maker Luis Buñuel....

, Dámaso Alonso
Dámaso Alonso
Dámaso Alonso y Fernández de las Redondas was a Spanish poet, philologist and literary critic. Though a member of the Generation of '27, his best-known work dates from the 1940s onwards. -Early life and education:...

, Enrique Jardiel Poncela
Enrique Jardiel Poncela
Enrique Jardiel Poncela was a Spanish playwright and novelist who wrote mostly humorous works....

 and Pedro Salinas
Pedro Salinas
Pedro Salinas y Serrano was a Spanish poet and member of the Generation of '27. He was also a scholar and critic of Spanish literature, teaching at universities in Spain, England, and the United States....

.

Madrid is home to the Royal Academy of Spanish Language
Real Academia Española
The Royal Spanish Academy is the official royal institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, but is affiliated with national language academies in twenty-one other hispanophone nations through the Association of Spanish Language Academies...

, internationally important cultural institution dedicated to language planning by enacting legislation aimed at promoting linguistic unity within and among the several Hispanic states; ensure a common linguistic standard, in accordance with its founding statutes "to ensure that the changes undergone [by the language] [...] not break the essential unity that keeps all the Hispanic. ".

Madrid is also home to another internationally cultural institution, the Instituto Cervantes
Instituto Cervantes
The Cervantes Institute is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. It is named after Miguel de Cervantes , the author of Don Quixote and perhaps the most important figure in the history of Spanish literature...

, whose task is the promotion and teaching of Spanish language
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 as well as the dissemination of the culture of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

.

The National Library of Spain
Biblioteca Nacional de España
The Biblioteca Nacional de España is a major public library, the largest in Spain.It is located in Madrid, on the Paseo de Recoletos.-History:...

 is a major public library, the largest in Spain. The library's collection consists of more than 26,000,000 items including 15,000,000 books and other printed materials, 30,000 manuscripts, 143,000 newspapers and serials, 4,500,000 graphic materials, 510,000 music scores, 500,000 maps, 600,000 sound recording, 90,000 audiovisuals, 90,000 electronic documents, more than 500,000 microforms, etc.".

Nightlife


The nightlife in Madrid is undoubtedly one of the city's main attractions. Tapas bars, cocktail bars, clubs, jazz lounges, live music venues, flamenco theatres and establishments of all kinds cater for all tastes and ages. Every night, venues pertaining to the Live Music Venues Association La Noche en Vivo host a wide range of live music shows. Everything from acclaimed to up-and-coming artists, singer-songwriters to rock bands, jazz concerts or electronic music sessions to enjoy music at its best.

Nightlife and young cultural awakening flourished after the death of Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

, especially during the 80s while Madrid's mayor Enrique Tierno Galván (PSOE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is a social-democratic political party in Spain. Its political position is Centre-left. The PSOE is the former ruling party of Spain, until beaten in the elections of November 2011 and the second oldest, exceeded only by the Partido Carlista, founded in...

) was in office, at this time is well-known the cultural movement called la movida
La Movida Madrileña
La Movida Madrileña was a countercultural movement that took place mainly in Madrid during the Spanish transition after Francisco Franco's death in 1975...

and it initially gathered around Plaza del Dos de Mayo
Malasaña
Malasaña is an area of Madrid famous for its creative, countercultural scene. Centred around Plaza de Dos de Mayo, it is reminiscent of Camden Town in London, the East Village in New York City, however despite its similarities, Malasaña is a distinct neighbourhood.-Overview:Malasaña is to the west...

. Nowadays, the Malasaña
Malasaña
Malasaña is an area of Madrid famous for its creative, countercultural scene. Centred around Plaza de Dos de Mayo, it is reminiscent of Camden Town in London, the East Village in New York City, however despite its similarities, Malasaña is a distinct neighbourhood.-Overview:Malasaña is to the west...

 area is known for its alternative scene.

Some of the most popular night destinations include the neighbourhoods of: Bilbao, Tribunal, Atocha, Alonso Martinez or Moncloa, together with Puerta del Sol area (including Opera and Gran Via, both adjacent to the popular square) and Huertas (barrio de Las Letras), destinations which are also filled with tourists day and night. The district of Chueca
Chueca
Chueca is a central neighborhood in Madrid named after Federico Chueca , composer of zarzuelas. It lies just to the north of the old city and is centered around the Plaza de Chueca, with its metro station "Chueca." The neighborhood has become a popular area for Madrid's gay community, which stages...

 has also become a hot spot in the Madrilenian night life
Nightlife
Nightlife is the collective term for any entertainment that is available and more popular from the late evening into the early hours of the morning...

, especially for the gay population. Chueca
Chueca
Chueca is a central neighborhood in Madrid named after Federico Chueca , composer of zarzuelas. It lies just to the north of the old city and is centered around the Plaza de Chueca, with its metro station "Chueca." The neighborhood has become a popular area for Madrid's gay community, which stages...

 is popularly known as the gay quarter, comparable to The Castro district in San Francisco.

What is also popular is the practice of meeting in parks or streets with friends and drinking alcohol together (this is called 'botellón
Botellón
Botellón is a social activity among Spain’s youth, who gather in public areas to consume alcohol as an alternative to going to a bar or club.-Origins:The origins of botellón started in Andalucia during the 1980s...

', from 'botella', bottle), but in recent years, drinking in the street is punished with a fine and now young madrileños drink together all around the city instead of in better-known places.

Bohemian Culture


The city has venues for performing alternative art and expressive art. They are mostly located in the centre of the city include in Opera, Anton Martin, Chueca
Chueca
Chueca is a central neighborhood in Madrid named after Federico Chueca , composer of zarzuelas. It lies just to the north of the old city and is centered around the Plaza de Chueca, with its metro station "Chueca." The neighborhood has become a popular area for Madrid's gay community, which stages...

 and Malasaña
Malasaña
Malasaña is an area of Madrid famous for its creative, countercultural scene. Centred around Plaza de Dos de Mayo, it is reminiscent of Camden Town in London, the East Village in New York City, however despite its similarities, Malasaña is a distinct neighbourhood.-Overview:Malasaña is to the west...

. There are also several festivals in Madrid including the Festival of Alternative art the Festival of the Alternative Scene.

The neighbourhood of Malasaña
Malasaña
Malasaña is an area of Madrid famous for its creative, countercultural scene. Centred around Plaza de Dos de Mayo, it is reminiscent of Camden Town in London, the East Village in New York City, however despite its similarities, Malasaña is a distinct neighbourhood.-Overview:Malasaña is to the west...

 as well as Anton Martin and Lavapies
Lavapiés
Lavapiés is a central neighbourhood of the city of Madrid, centered on Plaza de Lavapiés.It was the Jewish quarter of the city until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, the church of San Lorenzo being built on the former site of the synagogue...

 hosts several bohemian cafe/galleries. These cafes are typified with period or retro furniture or furniture found on the street, a colourful non traditional atmosphere inside, and usually art displayed each month by a new artist, often for sale. Cafes include the retro cafe "Lolina" and bohemian cafes "La Ida", "La Paca" and "Cafe de la Luz" in Malasaña, "La Piola" in Huertas and "Cafe Olmo" and "Aguardiente" in Lavapies.

In the neighbourhood of Lavapies
Lavapiés
Lavapiés is a central neighbourhood of the city of Madrid, centered on Plaza de Lavapiés.It was the Jewish quarter of the city until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, the church of San Lorenzo being built on the former site of the synagogue...

, there are also "hidden houses", which are illegal bars or abandoned spaces where concerts, poetry reading and the famous Spanish Botellon
Botellón
Botellón is a social activity among Spain’s youth, who gather in public areas to consume alcohol as an alternative to going to a bar or club.-Origins:The origins of botellón started in Andalucia during the 1980s...

 (a street party or gathering now illegal but rarely stopped).

Classical music and opera


The Auditorio Nacional de Música
National Auditorium of Music
The Auditorio Nacional de Música is a complex of concert venues located in Madrid, Spain and the main concert hall in the Madrid metropolitan area...



is the main venue for classical music concerts in Madrid. It is home to the Spanish National Orchestra, the Chamartín Symphony Orchestra
Chamartín Symphony Orchestra
-History:The Orchestra, named after the Chamartín administrative district of Madrid, was founded as an ensemble of semi-professional players in 1993 and gave its first concert at a local concert hall...

 and the venue for the symphonic concerts of the Community of Madrid Orchestra
Community of Madrid Orchestra
The Community of Madrid Orchestra , founded in 1987, is a symphony orchestra in Madrid, Spain. The orchestra is the resident orchestra at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid and performs its concert programs at the Auditorio Nacional de Música....

  and the Madrid Symphony Orchestra
Madrid Symphony Orchestra
The Madrid Symphony Orchestra , founded in 1903, is the oldest existing Spanish symphony orchestra not linked to an opera house in Spain.-History:...

. It is also the principal venue for orchestras on tour playing in Madrid.

The Teatro Real
Teatro Real
The Teatro Real or simply El Real , is a major opera house located in Madrid, Spain.-History:...

 is the main opera house in Madrid, located just in front of the Royal Palace
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Palacio Real de Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid...

, and its resident orchestra is the Madrid Symphony Orchestra
Madrid Symphony Orchestra
The Madrid Symphony Orchestra , founded in 1903, is the oldest existing Spanish symphony orchestra not linked to an opera house in Spain.-History:...

. The theatre stages around seventeen opera titles (both own productions and co-productions with other major European opera houses) per year, as well as two or three major ballets and several recitals.

The Teatro de la Zarzuela
Teatro de la Zarzuela
The Teatro de la Zarzuela is a theatre in Madrid, Spain. The theatre is today mainly devoted to zarzuela , as well as operetta and recitals. In the past, in the city's long absence of an opera theatre , this was Madrid's theatre where most major opera performances were shown...

 is mainly devoted to Zarzuela
Zarzuela
Zarzuela is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre that alternates between spoken and sung scenes, the latter incorporating operatic and popular song, as well as dance...

 (the Spanish traditional musical theatre genre), as well as operetta
Operetta
Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is also closely related, in English-language works, to forms of musical theatre.-Origins:...

 and recital
Recital
A recital is a musical performance. It can highlight a single performer, sometimes accompanied by piano, or a performance of the works of a single composer.The invention of the solo piano recital has been attributed to Franz Liszt....

s. The resident orchestra of the theatre is the Community of Madrid Orchestra
Community of Madrid Orchestra
The Community of Madrid Orchestra , founded in 1987, is a symphony orchestra in Madrid, Spain. The orchestra is the resident orchestra at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid and performs its concert programs at the Auditorio Nacional de Música....

.

The Teatro Monumental
Teatro Monumental
The Teatro Monumental is a concert hall in Madrid. The theatre, designed by Teodoro Anasagasti Algan, was built between 1922 and 1923 as a movie theatre and later was transformed to house symphonic concerts....

 is the concert venue of the RTVE Symphony Orchestra
RTVE Symphony Orchestra
The RTVE Symphony Orchestra , also known as the Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra is a Spanish radio orchestra servicing RTVE, the Spanish national broadcasting network....

.

Other concert venues for classical music are the Fundación Joan March and the Auditorio 400
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is the official name of Spain's national museum of 20th century art . The museum was officially inaugurated on September 10, 1992 and is named for Queen Sofia of Spain...

, devoted to contemporary music.

Bullfighting


Madrid hosts the largest Plaza de Toros (bullring) in Spain, Las Ventas
Las Ventas
The Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is a famous bullring in Madrid .Situated in the Guindalera quarter of the district of Salamanca, it was inaugurated on June 17, 1931. It has a seating capacity of 25,000 and is regarded as the home of bullfighting in Spain.This bullring was designed by the architect...

, established in 1929. Las Ventas is considered by many to be the world centre of bullfighting and has a seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

 of almost 25,000. Madrid's bullfighting
Bullfighting
Bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Latin American countries , in which one or more bulls are baited in a bullring for sport and entertainment...

 season begins in March and ends in October. Bullfights are held every day during the festivities of San Isidro
Isidore the Laborer
Isidore the Laborer, also known as Isidore the Farmer, , was a Spanish day laborer known for his goodness toward the poor and animals. He is the Catholic patron saint of farmers and of Madrid and of La Ceiba, Honduras....

 (Madrid's patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

) from mid May to early June, and every Sunday, and public holiday
Holiday
A Holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observance is warranted. It is generally an official or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations...

, the rest of the season. The style of the plaza is Neomudéjar
Mudéjar
Mudéjar is the name given to individual Moors or Muslims of Al-Andalus who remained in Iberia after the Christian Reconquista but were not converted to Christianity...

. Las Ventas also hosts music concerts and other events outside of the bullfighting season.

Local festivities

  • 15 May, San Isidro Labrador
    Isidore the Laborer
    Isidore the Laborer, also known as Isidore the Farmer, , was a Spanish day laborer known for his goodness toward the poor and animals. He is the Catholic patron saint of farmers and of Madrid and of La Ceiba, Honduras....

     (Madrid's patron saint).
  • 13 June, San Antonio de la Florida (Moncloa neighbourhood's patron saint)..
  • 16–25 July, Virgen del Carmen festivities (Vallecas neighbourhood's patron saint).
  • 6–14 August, Virgen de la Paloma festivities (Madrid's popular patron saint)
  • 7 August, San Cayetano (Cascorro neighbourhood's patron saint).
  • 10 August, San Lorenzo (Lavapiés neighbourhood's patron saint).
  • 9 November, Virgen de la Almudena festivities (Madrid's patron saint).

Sport



Madrid is home to La Liga
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

 football club Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

, who play their home games at the Santiago Bernabéu
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is an all-seater football stadium in Madrid, Spain. It was inaugurated on 14 December 1947 and is owned by Real Madrid Club de Fútbol. It has a current capacity of 85,454 spectators....

. Their supporters are referred to as Madridistas or Merengues (Merengues). Real Madrid is one of the most prestigious football clubs
Football team
A football team is the collective name given to a group of players selected together in the various team sports known as football.Such teams could be selected to play in an against an opposing team, to represent a football club, group, state or nation, an All-star team or even selected as a...

 in the world (FIFA selected Real Madrid the best team of the 20th century), having won a record 9 European Cups
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

. Their hometown rivals, Atlético Madrid, are also well supported in the city. The players (and supporters) are referred to as Colchoneros (The Mattress Makers), in reference to the team's red & white jersey colours, which were determined by mattress material being the cheapest at the time of the club's formation. In 1982, Madrid hosted the FIFA World Cup Final
1982 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :**...

. Along with Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 and Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Madrid is one of only four cities in Europe to contain two UEFA 5-star stadia: Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is an all-seater football stadium in Madrid, Spain. It was inaugurated on 14 December 1947 and is owned by Real Madrid Club de Fútbol. It has a current capacity of 85,454 spectators....

 and Atlético Madrid's Vicente Calderón
Vicente Calderón Stadium
The Vicente Calderón Stadium is the home stadium of La Liga football club Atlético Madrid and is located in the Arganzuela district of Spanish capital Madrid. The stadium was originally called the Manzanares Stadium, but this was later changed to the Vicente Calderón Stadium, after the famous...

 both meet the said criteria. Rayo Vallecano
Rayo Vallecano
Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, S.A.D., often abbreviated to Rayo, is a Spanish football team based in Madrid, in the neighbourhood of Vallecas...

 and Getafe CF
Getafe CF
Getafe Club de Fútbol is a Spanish La Liga football club based in Getafe, a city in the Madrid metropolitan area, founded in 1946 and refounded in 1983.In the top level since 2004-05, it holds home games at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez....

 are two further teams from the Madrid area playing currently in La Liga
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

.

Some of Spain's top footballers are Madrileños (born in Madrid), including Real Madrid former player Emilio Butragueño
Emilio Butragueño
Emilio Butragueño Santos is a retired Spanish footballer who played as a striker.He was best known for his spell with Real Madrid...

 and co (La Quinta del Buitre
Quinta del Buitre
La Quinta del Buitre is the moniker given by Spanish sport journalist Julio César Iglesias to the five homegrown Real Madrid players who were at the core of the team that dominated Spanish football in the 1980s. The name was derived from Emilio Butragueño's nickname El Buitre, the most charismatic...

, "The Vulture's Quint"), Premier League's Pepe Reina, Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Fernando José Torres Sanz , nicknamed , is a Spanish footballer who plays for Chelsea and the Spain national team as a striker....

 and Real Madrid veterans Raúl González
Raúl González
Raúl González Blanco , known simply as Raúl, is a Spanish footballer who plays as a striker. He currently plays for German club Schalke 04....

, Guti Hernandez and Iker Casillas
Íker Casillas
Iker Casillas Fernández is a Spanish football goalkeeper who plays for the Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and the Spanish national team, being the captain of both...

.


Madrid boasts a prominent place in Spanish basketball, with two clubs in the country's top-level Liga ACB. Real Madrid's basketball section
Real Madrid Baloncesto
Real Madrid Baloncesto is a Spanish professional basketball team founded in 1932 as a division of the Real Madrid club. They play in the Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto ....

 has won 30 Spanish League championships, 22 Spanish Cup
Copa del Rey de Baloncesto
The Copa del Rey de Baloncesto is an annual cup competition for Spanish basketball teams organized by Spain's top professional league, Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto. It was originally known as the Copa de España de Baloncesto and was first played in 1933. It was the first nationwide...

 championships, 8 Euroleague Championships
Euroleague
Euroleague Basketball, commonly known as the Euroleague, is the highest level tier and most important professional club basketball competition in Europe, with teams from up to 18 different countries, members of FIBA Europe. For sponsorship reasons, for five seasons starting with 2010–2011, it is...

, 4 Saporta Cup
Saporta Cup
Saporta Cup was the name of the second-tier level European professional club basketball competition, where the National Cup winners from all over Europe played against each other. The competition was organized by FIBA Europe...

s, 4 Intercontinental Cups
Intercontinental Cup (basketball)
The World Cup for Champion Clubs, commonly referred to as the Intercontinental Cup, was a basketball competition endorsed by FIBA to gather the best clubs from the federations affiliated to FIBA and to officially decide the best club of the world, contended mainly by the continents of higher...

 and have won 2 Triple Crowns
Triple Crown in Basketball
The Triple Crown is a term in European professional club basketball that refers to a club winning their country's top tier national domestic league, primary national domestic cup, and the top tier European continental level competition in the same season. It is the highest accomplishment that a...

. Madrid's other professional basketball club is Estudiantes
CB Estudiantes
Club Baloncesto Estudiantes, S.A.D., known as Asefa Estudiantes for sponsorship reasons, is a basketball team based in the city of Madrid, Community of Madrid. It is member of the Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto . Founded in 1948, it is one of the most recognized basketball teams in Spain...

 that have won 3 Spanish Cup
Copa del Rey de Baloncesto
The Copa del Rey de Baloncesto is an annual cup competition for Spanish basketball teams organized by Spain's top professional league, Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto. It was originally known as the Copa de España de Baloncesto and was first played in 1933. It was the first nationwide...

 championships.

Madrid hosts the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open. The tournament is classified as an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event on the Association of Tennis Professionals tour, and a Premier Mandatory event on the Women's Tennis Association tour. Caja Mágica
Caja Mágica
La Caja Mágica , also known as the Manzanares Park Tennis Center, is a sports structure located at the Park Manzanares, used for the Madrid Masters tournament in Madrid, Spain....

 (The Magic Box, and also known as the Manzanares Park Tennis Centre) is a tennis structure located at Manzanares Park
Manzanares Park
Manzanares Park is a large, 480 Ha. park in the south of Madrid, Spain. It follows the Manzanares River, backbone of the park, for seven kilometers between the M-30 Nudo Sur and the town of Getafe....

, used for the Madrid Masters tournament
Madrid Masters
There are two sporting events named the Madrid Masters:*Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open — a men's and women's tennis tournament*Madrid Masters...

.

The city is also host to the Circuito Permanente Del Jarama, a motorsport
Motorsport
Motorsport or motorsports is the group of sports which primarily involve the use of motorized vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition...

 race circuit.

Historically, the city serves as the final stage of the Vuelta a España
Vuelta a España
The Vuelta a España is a three-week road bicycle racing stage race that is one of the three "Grand Tours" of Europe and part of the UCI World Ranking calendar. The race lasts three weeks and attracts cyclists from around the world. The race is broken into day-long segments, called stages...

 cycling event, in the same way Paris serves as the conclusive stage of the Tour de France
Tour de France
The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held in France and nearby countries. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than and lasts three weeks. As the best known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours", the Tour de France attracts riders and teams from around the world. The...

.

Skiing
Skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

 is possible in the nearby mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama
Sierra de Guadarrama
The Sierra de Guadarrama is a mountain range forming the main eastern section of the Sistema Central, the system of mountain ranges at the centre of the Iberian Peninsula. It is located between the Sierra de Gredos in the province of Ávila, and Sierra de Ayllón in the province of Guadalajara...

, where the ski resort
Ski resort
A ski resort is a resort developed for skiing and other winter sports. In Europe a ski resort is a town or village in a ski area - a mountainous area, where there are ski trails and supporting services such as hotels and other accommodation, restaurants, equipment rental and a ski lift system...

s of Valdesqui
Valdesqui
Valdesquí is a ski area situated near the town of Rascafría in the Sierra de Guadarrama near Madrid . The area is close to the Navacerrada resort , and projects have been attempted to link the two areas, stopped by ecologist movements....

 and Navacerrada
Navacerrada
Navacerrada is a municipality of the Community of Madrid, Spain, located about 1,200 metres on the Reservoir Navacerrada and the entry of "Valle de la Barranca" in the Sierra de Guadarrama....

 are located.

In the past, Madrid has bid to host the 1972 Summer Olympics
1972 Summer Olympics
The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972....

, the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

, and the 2016 Summer Olympics
2016 Summer Olympics
The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event to be celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games, as governed by the International Olympic Committee...

, which were awarded to Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, and Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

 respectively. The city has two major annual road running
Road running
Road running is the sport of running on a measured course over an established road . These events would be classified as long distance according to athletics terminology, with distances typically ranging from 5 kilometers to 42.2 kilometers in the marathon. They may involve large numbers of runners...

 events – the Madrid Marathon
Madrid Marathon
Maratón de Rock 'n' Roll Madrid is an annual marathon race which takes place in Madrid, Spain, in late April. The event was first held in 1978 and has since gained IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and had over 10,000 runners participate in the 2010 edition...

 and the San Silvestre Vallecana
San Silvestre Vallecana
The San Silvestre Vallecana is an annual 10 km road race celebrated on December 31 in Madrid since 1964, in the borough of Vallecas, Spain. It is has two editions: a fun run for amateur athletes and an elite race for professional athletes....

 10 km (6 mi) run – tens of thousands of runners take part in these races each year. As reported by Olympic news outlet Around the Rings, In July 2011 Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon announced Madrid's plans to bid
Madrid bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics
Madrid 2020 is an Olympic bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics launched by the city of Madrid and the Spanish Olympic Committee.The IOC will announce the official candidate cities on May 23, 2012. The winning bid will be announced on September 7, 2013 at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires...

 for the 2020 Olympics.
Club League Sport Venue Established Capacity
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

La Liga
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

Football Santiago Bernabéu
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is an all-seater football stadium in Madrid, Spain. It was inaugurated on 14 December 1947 and is owned by Real Madrid Club de Fútbol. It has a current capacity of 85,454 spectators....

1902 80,354
Atlético Madrid La Liga
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

Football Vicente Calderón
Vicente Calderón Stadium
The Vicente Calderón Stadium is the home stadium of La Liga football club Atlético Madrid and is located in the Arganzuela district of Spanish capital Madrid. The stadium was originally called the Manzanares Stadium, but this was later changed to the Vicente Calderón Stadium, after the famous...

1903 54,851
Rayo Vallecano
Rayo Vallecano
Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, S.A.D., often abbreviated to Rayo, is a Spanish football team based in Madrid, in the neighbourhood of Vallecas...

La Liga
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

Football Estadio de Vallecas
Estadio Teresa Rivero
Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas previously known as Estadio Teresa Rivero is a multi-use stadium in Madrid, Spain. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home ground of Rayo Vallecano. The stadium holds 15,500 spectators and was opened in 1976.-External links:****...

1924 15,500
Real Madrid Castilla
Real Madrid Castilla
Real Madrid Castilla is a Spanish football team that plays in the Segunda División B. It is the reserve team of Real Madrid. They play their home games at Alfredo di Stéfano Stadium....

Segunda División B
Segunda División B
Segunda División B is the third level of the Spanish football league system. It is administered by the RFEF. The top two levels are La Liga, also referred to as the Primera División, and the Segunda División. Immediately below Segunda División B is the Tercera Division...

Football Alfredo di Stéfano
Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium
The Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano is a multi-purpose stadium in Madrid, Spain. It is currently used for football matches and is the home ground of Real Madrid Castilla, the reserve team of Real Madrid. The stadium holds 6,000 people...

1930 6,000
Real Madrid Baloncesto
Real Madrid Baloncesto
Real Madrid Baloncesto is a Spanish professional basketball team founded in 1932 as a division of the Real Madrid club. They play in the Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto ....

ACB Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

Palacio de Deportes de Madrid
Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid
Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid is an indoor sporting arena located in the City of Madrid, Spain. Its capacity is 15,000 people for basketball matches, 14,000 for handball matches and 18,000 for concerts .The former building, which was built in 1960, was destroyed by a fire in 2001...

1932 16,000
CB Estudiantes
CB Estudiantes
Club Baloncesto Estudiantes, S.A.D., known as Asefa Estudiantes for sponsorship reasons, is a basketball team based in the city of Madrid, Community of Madrid. It is member of the Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto . Founded in 1948, it is one of the most recognized basketball teams in Spain...

ACB Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

Palacio de Deportes de Madrid
Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid
Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid is an indoor sporting arena located in the City of Madrid, Spain. Its capacity is 15,000 people for basketball matches, 14,000 for handball matches and 18,000 for concerts .The former building, which was built in 1960, was destroyed by a fire in 2001...

1948 16,000


Education



State Education in Spain
Education in Spain
The current system of education in Spain is known as LOE after the Ley Orgánica de Educación, or Fundamental Law of Education. Education in Spain is compulsory, and free from 6 to 16 years of age, supported by the Government in each Region....

 is free, and compulsory from 6 to 16 years. The current education system
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 is called LOE (Ley Orgánica de Educación).

Universities


Madrid is home to a large number of public and private universities
Private university
Private universities are universities not operated by governments, although many receive public subsidies, especially in the form of tax breaks and public student loans and grants. Depending on their location, private universities may be subject to government regulation. Private universities are...

. Some of them are among the oldest in the world, and many of them are the most prestigious universities in Spain.


The Complutense University of Madrid
Complutense University of Madrid
The Complutense University of Madrid is a university in Madrid, and one of the oldest universities in the world. It is located on a sprawling campus that occupies the entirety of the Ciudad Universitaria district of Madrid, with annexes in the district of Somosaguas in the neighboring city of...

 is the largest university in Spain and one of the oldest universities in the world. It has 10,000 staff members and a student population of 117,000. Nearly all academic staff are Spanish. It is located on two campuses, in the university quarter Ciudad Universitaria at Moncloa in Madrid, and in Somosaguas. The Complutense University of Madrid was founded in Alcala de Henares
Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares , meaning Citadel on the river Henares, is a Spanish city, whose historical centre is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, and one of the first bishoprics founded in Spain...

, old Complutum, by Cardinal Cisneros in 1499. Nevertherless, its real origin dates back from 1293, when King Sancho IV of Castile
Sancho IV of Castile
Sancho IV the Brave was the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1284 to his death. He was the second son of Alfonso X and Yolanda, daughter of James I of Aragon.-Biography:...

 built the General Schools of Alcalá, which would give rise to Cisnero's Complutense University. During the course of 1509–1510 five schools were already operative: Artes y Filosofía (Arts & Philosophy), Teología (Theology), Derecho Canónico (Canonical Laws), Letras (Liberal Arts) and Medicina (Medicine). In 1836, during the reign of Isabel II
Isabella II of Spain
Isabella II was the only female monarch of Spain in modern times. She came to the throne as an infant, but her succession was disputed by the Carlists, who refused to recognise a female sovereign, leading to the Carlist Wars. After a troubled reign, she was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of...

, the University was moved to Madrid, where it took the name of Central University and was located at San Bernardo Street. Subsequently, in 1927, a new university area was planned to be built in the district of Moncloa-Aravaca, in lands handed over by the King Alfonso XIII
Alfonso XIII of Spain
Alfonso XIII was King of Spain from 1886 until 1931. His mother, Maria Christina of Austria, was appointed regent during his minority...

 to this purpose. The Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 turned the "Ciudad Universitaria" into a war zone, causing the destruction of several schools in the area, as well as the loss of part of its rich scientific, artistic and bibliographic heritage.
In 1970 the Government reformed the High Education, and the Central University became the Complutense University of Madrid. It was then when the new campus at Somosaguas was created to house the new School of Social Sciences
Social sciences
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

. The old Alcalá campus was reopened as the independent UAH, University of Alcalá
University of Alcalá
The University of Alcalá is a public university located in Alcalá de Henares, a city 35 km northeast of Madrid in Spain. Founded in 1499, it was moved in 1836 to Madrid. In 1977, the University was reopened in its same historical buildings...

, in 1977. Complutense also serves to the population of students who select Madrid as their residency during their study abroad
Study abroad
Studying abroad is the act of a student pursuing educational opportunities in a country other than one's own. This can include primary, secondary and post-secondary students...

 period. Students from the United States for example, might go to Madrid on a program like API (Academic Programs International) and study at Complutense for an intense immersion into the Spanish Language. The beautiful setting of the campus allows students living temporarily in Madrid to have access to all of the city's public features including Retiro Park, El Prado Museum, and much more. After studying at the University, students return home with a fluent sense of Spanish as well as culture and diversity.

The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Technical University of Madrid
Technical University of Madrid
The Technical University of Madrid or sometimes called Polytechnic University of Madrid is a Spanish University, located in Madrid. It was founded in 1971 as the result of merging different Technical Schools of Engineering and Architecture, originated mainly in the 18th century...

), is the top technical university in Spain. It is the result of the merge of different Technical Schools
Technical school
Technical school is a general term used for two-year college which provide mostly employment-preparation skills for trained labor, such as welding, culinary arts and office management.-Associations supporting technical schools:...

 of Engineering.

The Autonomous University of Madrid
Autonomous University of Madrid
The Autonomous University of Madrid is one of the top university of Spain and commonly known by its Spanish initials UAM or as "la Autónoma"...

 was instituted under the leadership of the famous physicist, Nicolás Cabrera
Nicolás Cabrera
Nicolás Cabrera , was a Spanish physicist who did important work on the theories of crystal growth and the oxidisation of metals. He was the son of another famous Spanish physicist Blas Cabrera and the father of American Physicist Blas Cabrera. He spent many years in exile during the dictatorship...

. The Autonoma is widely recognised for its research strengths in theoretical physics
Theoretical physics
Theoretical physics is a branch of physics which employs mathematical models and abstractions of physics to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena...

. Known simply as la Autónoma in Madrid, its main site is the Cantoblanco Campus, situated 10 miles (16.1 km) to the northeast of the capital (M-607) and close to the municipal areas of Madrid, namely Alcobendas
Alcobendas
Alcobendas is a city located in the Community of Madrid, central Spain. It is located roughly 13 km north of Madrid and 7 km from the Barajas International Airport. It includes a central urban zone, a recently built district known as Valdelasfuentes, La Moraleja and El Soto de la...

, San Sebastián de los Reyes
San Sebastián de los Reyes
San Sebastián de los Reyes is a municipality in the Community of Madrid in Spain. Founded in 1492, it is located 20 km north of Madrid. The city is twinned with Baunatal in Germany. It is geographically joined with neighboring Alcobendas and they share a common RENFE commuter line to Madrid Atocha...

, Tres Cantos
Tres Cantos
Tres Cantos is a township and municipality located in the autonomous community of Madrid, Spain, some 22 km north of the capital city, Madrid. As a "satellite city" of Madrid which was conceived by urban planners as recently as the 1970s, it is the youngest incorporated municipality in Spain, with...

 and Colmenar Viejo
Colmenar Viejo
Colmenar Viejo is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants, located in the Community of Madrid, Spain, 30 kilometers north of Madrid on the M-607 motorway.-Main sights:The most important tourist attractions places in Colmenar Viejo are:...

.
Located on the main site are the Rectorate building and the Faculties of Science, Philosophy and Fine Arts
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

, Law, Economic Science
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 and Business Studies
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

, Psychology, Higher School of Computing Science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

 and Engineering, and the Faculty of Teacher Training
Teacher education
Teacher education refers to the policies and procedures designed to equip prospective teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school and wider community....

 and Education. The Medical School
Medical school
A medical school is a tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches medicine. Degree programs offered at medical schools often include Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Bachelor/Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, master's degree, or other post-secondary...

 is sited outside the main site and beside the Hospital Universitario La Paz.

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, whose philosophy is to create responsible free-thinking
Freethought
Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or other dogmas...

 people with a sensitivity to social problems
Social issues
Social issues are controversial issues which relate to people's personal lives and interactions. Social issues are distinguished from economic issues...

 and an involvement in the concept of progress based on freedom, justice and tolerance. The undergraduate degrees in Business Administration, Economics and Law are ranked first, first and second respectively among those offered by public and private universities in Spain, and its Master and PhD programs also rank top in the country. The Department of Economics is among the 50 best worldwide, and in the top 10 in Econometrics
Econometrics
Econometrics has been defined as "the application of mathematics and statistical methods to economic data" and described as the branch of economics "that aims to give empirical content to economic relations." More precisely, it is "the quantitative analysis of actual economic phenomena based on...

.

Some other prestigious universities include Universidad de Alcalá de Henares
University of Alcalá
The University of Alcalá is a public university located in Alcalá de Henares, a city 35 km northeast of Madrid in Spain. Founded in 1499, it was moved in 1836 to Madrid. In 1977, the University was reopened in its same historical buildings...

, rebuilt at Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares , meaning Citadel on the river Henares, is a Spanish city, whose historical centre is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, and one of the first bishoprics founded in Spain...

 in 1975; and the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, involved in a number of academic exchange programmes, work practice schemes and international projects with over 200 Higher Education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 Institutions in Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia.

Other universities in Madrid, some of them private, are: Rey Juan Carlos University
Rey Juan Carlos University
King Juan Carlos University is a public university located in Móstoles , and distributed into four campus: Madrid, Móstoles, Alcorcón and Fuenlabrada.It's named after king Juan Carlos I of Spain...

 (public), Universidad Alfonso X, Universidad Antonio de Nebrija, Universidad Camilo José Cela
Universidad Camilo José Cela
Camilo José Cela University was established in 2000 and it is part of the Educational Institution SEK -Saint Stanislaus Kostka- founded in 1892. UCJC currently offers a wide range of academic qualifications, more than 40 graduate programmes and 50 postgraduate programmes...

, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria
Universidad Francisco de Vitoria
The Francisco de Vitoria University is a private university located in Pozuelo de Alarcón, in the Community of Madrid, Spain . It is a Roman Catholic institution run by the Legion of Christ. Its name is after Francisco de Vitoria, considered the father of International Law....

, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca Campus de Madrid, Saint Louis University Madrid Campus
Saint Louis University Madrid Campus
Saint Louis University - Madrid Campus is the Spanish branch of Saint Louis University, an American Jesuit university founded in 1818. The Madrid campus began as a study abroad program of Saint Louis University in the 1960s and received official recognition as a university in Spain in 1996.-The...

 and Universidad San Pablo CEU (all of them private).

Madrid is also home to the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid and many other private educational institutions.

Business schools


IE Business School (formerly Instituto de Empresa) has its main campus on the border of the Chamartín and Salamanca districts of Madrid. IE Business School recently ranked #1 in WSJ's 2009 rankings for Best MBA Programs under 2 years. It scored ahead of usual stalwarts, INSEAD
INSEAD
INSEAD is an international graduate business school and research institution. It has campuses in Europe , Asia , and the Middle East , as well as a research center in Israel...

 and IMD
International Institute for Management Development
IMD - International Institute for Management Development is a non profit business school located in Lausanne, Switzerland.- History & Mission :...

, giving it top billing amongst International MBA programs. Although based in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, both IESE Business School
IESE
IESE Business School is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. IESE has campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, and New York City and teaching facilities in Munich and Sao Paulo...

 and ESADE Business School
ESADE Business School
ESADE Business School is a business school founded in 1958 in Barcelona, Spain, which has been ranked several times the world's No. 1 international management school by the Wall Street Journal. It is part of ESADE and the Ramon Llull University...

 also have Madrid campuses. These three schools are the top-ranked business school
Business school
A business school is a university-level institution that confers degrees in Business Administration. It teaches topics such as accounting, administration, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems, marketing, organizational behavior, public relations, strategy, human resource...

s in Spain, consistently rank among the top 20 business schools globally, and offer MBA
Master of Business Administration
The Master of Business Administration is a :master's degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out...

 programs (in English or Spanish) as well as other business degrees. Other Madrid universities that have MBA programs include:
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid through the Centro de Ampliación Estudios (in English or Spanish).
  • Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid (in Spanish only).
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
    Technical University of Madrid
    The Technical University of Madrid or sometimes called Polytechnic University of Madrid is a Spanish University, located in Madrid. It was founded in 1971 as the result of merging different Technical Schools of Engineering and Architecture, originated mainly in the 18th century...

     (in Spanish only).

Transport


Madrid is served by highly-developed communication infrastructures, making the Spanish capital the leading logistics hub for both Spain and all of southern Europe. It also boasts a network of motorways, encompassing both ring roads and radial roads, and provides the backbone for Spain’s railway network, thereby providing effective connections with not only other parts of the region, but also the rest of Spain and Europe as a whole. Madrid ranks alongside Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 and Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 as one of the world’s three largest high-speed railway hubs. Madrid is also home to the Madrid-Barajas airport, Spain’s flagship airport and one of the largest to be found worldwide.

Air




Madrid is served by Barajas Airport. Barajas is the main hub
Airline hub
An airline hub is an airport that an airline uses as a transfer point to get passengers to their intended destination. It is part of a hub and spoke model, where travelers moving between airports not served by direct flights change planes en route to their destinations...

 of Iberia Airlines. It consequently serves as the main gateway to the Iberian peninsula from Europe, America and the rest of the world. Current passenger volumes range upwards of 49.8 million passengers per year, making it the country's largest and busiest airport, and in 2009 it was the world's 11th busiest airport
World's busiest airports by passenger traffic
The world's busiest airports by passenger traffic are measured by number of total passengers . One passenger is described as someone who arrives in, departs from, or transfers through the airport on a given day...

 and Europe's fourth busiest airport. Given annual increases close to 10%, a new fourth terminal has been constructed. It has significantly reduced delays and doubled the capacity of the airport to more than 70 million passengers per year. Two additional runways have also been constructed, making Barajas a fully operational four-runway airport.

Located within the city limits of Madrid, just 9 km (5.6 mi) from the city's financial district and 13 km (8.1 mi) northeast of the Puerta del Sol, Madrid's historic centre. The airport name derives from the adjacent district of Barajas, which has its own metro station on the same rail line serving the airport.

The Councillor of Transports of the Community of Madrid, Manuel Lamela, announced in 2007 that the city will also be served by two new airports which are expected to be fully operative in 2016, the first of which will be located in Campo Real, it will be initially be used for cargo flights, but also as hub for low-cost carriers, and the second one, expected to be built between the two municipalities of El Álamo and Navalcarnero
Navalcarnero
Navalcarnero is a municipality in the Community of Madrid, Spain, located about 31 km from Madrid.Sights include the church of Inmaculada Concepción.-History:...

, which will only take over the routes operating in Cuatro Vientos Airport
Cuatro Vientos Airport
Madrid-Cuatro Vientos Airport , also known as Cuatro Vientos Airport, is the oldest Spanish airport and one of the three civil airports of Madrid along with Madrid-Barajas and Torrejón Air Base....

.

National rail





Spain's railway system
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

, the Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles (Renfe
RENFE
Renfe Operadora is the state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1668-mm "Iberian gauge" and 1435-mm "European gauge" networks of the Spanish national railway infrastructure company ADIF .- History :The name RENFE is derived from that of the former Spanish National...

) operates the vast majority of Spain's railways. Cercanías Madrid
Cercanías Madrid
Cercanías Madrid is the commuter rail service that serves Madrid, the capital of Spain, and its metropolitan area. It is operated by Cercanías Renfe, the commuter rail division of RENFE, the former monopoly of rail services in Spain. The system is infamous for being the target of the 11 March 2004...

 is the commuter rail service that serves Madrid and its metropolitan area. It is operated by Cercanías Renfe, the commuter rail division of Renfe
RENFE
Renfe Operadora is the state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1668-mm "Iberian gauge" and 1435-mm "European gauge" networks of the Spanish national railway infrastructure company ADIF .- History :The name RENFE is derived from that of the former Spanish National...

. The total length spans 339.1 km. Main rail terminals are Atocha in the south and Chamartín in the north.

The most important project in the next decade is the Spanish high speed rail network, Alta Velocidad Española AVE
AVE
Alta Velocidad Española is a service of high-speed rail in Spain operated by Renfe, the Spanish national railway company, at speeds of up to . The name is literally translated from Spanish as "Spanish High Speed", but also a play on the word , meaning "bird".AVE trains run on a network of...

. Currently, an ambitious plan includes the construction of a 7000 kilometres (4,349.6 mi) network, centred on Madrid. The overall goal is to have all important provincial cities be no more than 4 hours away from Madrid, and no more than 6 hours away from Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

. As of 2008, AVE
AVE
Alta Velocidad Española is a service of high-speed rail in Spain operated by Renfe, the Spanish national railway company, at speeds of up to . The name is literally translated from Spanish as "Spanish High Speed", but also a play on the word , meaning "bird".AVE trains run on a network of...

 high-speed trains
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

 link Atocha station to Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, Málaga
Málaga
Málaga is a city and a municipality in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. With a population of 568,507 in 2010, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. This is the southernmost large city in Europe...

, Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

, Ciudad Real
Ciudad Real
Ciudad Real is a city in Castile-La Mancha, Spain, with a population of c. 74,000. It is the capital of the province of Ciudad Real. It has a stop on the AVE high-speed rail line and has begun to grow as a long-distance commuter suburb of Madrid, located 115 miles to the north. A high capacity...

 and Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

 in the south and to Cuenca
Cuenca, Spain
-History:When the Iberian peninsula was part of the Roman Empire there were several important settlements in the province, such as Segóbriga, Ercávica and Gran Valeria...

, Albacete
Albacete
Albacete is a city and municipality in southeastern Spain, 258 km southeast of Madrid, the capital of the province of Albacete in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. The municipality had a population of c. 169,700 in 2009....

, Valencia, Zaragoza
Zaragoza
Zaragoza , also called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain...

, Lleida
Lleida
Lleida is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain. It is the capital city of the province of Lleida, as well as the largest city in the province and it had 137,387 inhabitants , including the contiguous municipalities of Raimat and Sucs. The metro area has about 250,000 inhabitants...

, Tarragona
Tarragona
Tarragona is a city located in the south of Catalonia on the north-east of Spain, by the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonès. In the medieval and modern times it was the capital of the Vegueria of Tarragona...

 and Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 in the east. AVE
AVE
Alta Velocidad Española is a service of high-speed rail in Spain operated by Renfe, the Spanish national railway company, at speeds of up to . The name is literally translated from Spanish as "Spanish High Speed", but also a play on the word , meaning "bird".AVE trains run on a network of...

 trains also arrive from Valladolid
Valladolid
Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales...

 in the north.

RENFE offers:
  • AVE
    AVE
    Alta Velocidad Española is a service of high-speed rail in Spain operated by Renfe, the Spanish national railway company, at speeds of up to . The name is literally translated from Spanish as "Spanish High Speed", but also a play on the word , meaning "bird".AVE trains run on a network of...

  • Alaris
    Alaris
    Alaris is the brand name of the regional rail network run by the Spanish national rail company RENFE that connects the major cities of Madrid and Valencia, and Barcelona and the main cities of the Valencian community...

  • Altaria
    Altaria (rail service)
    Altaria is the brand name of a group of fast long-distance passenger railway services operated by Spanish national railway company Renfe Operadora and connecting Madrid to Algeciras, Alicante, Barcelona, Cádiz, Cartagena, Granada, Irún, Logroño, Murcia, Pamplona, and San Sebastián.Altaria trains...

  • Talgo
    Talgo
    Talgo is a Spanish manufacturer of railway vehicles. It is best known for a design of articulated railway passenger cars in which the wheels are mounted in pairs, but not joined by an axle, and being between rather than underneath the individual coaches...


Metro




Serving a population of some four million, the Madrid Metro
Madrid Metro
The Madrid Metro is a metro system serving the city of Madrid, capital of Spain. The system is the sixth longest metro in the world though Madrid is approximately the fiftieth most populous metropolitan area in the world...

 is one of the most extensive and fastest-growing metro
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 networks in the world. With the addition of a loop serving suburbs to Madrid's south-west "Metrosur", it is now the second largest metro system in Western Europe, second only to London's Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

. In 2007 Madrid's metro system was expanded and it currently runs over 283 kilometres (175.8 mi) of line. The province of Madrid is also served by an extensive commuter rail network of 370 kilometres (229.9 mi) called Cercanías
Cercanías
Cercanías is the name given to the commuter rail systems of Spain's major metropolitan areas. In Catalonia and Valencia, however, the term is replaced by Rodalies , while the designation Aldirikoak is used in the Basque Country....

.

The system is the sixth longest metro in the world after London, New York, Moscow, Seoul and Shanghai, though Madrid is approximately the fiftieth most populous metropolitan area in the world. Its fast growth in the last 20 years has also put it among the fastest growing networks in the world, on par with the Shanghai Metro
Shanghai Metro
The Shanghai Metro is the urban rapid transit system of China's largest city, Shanghai. The system incorporates both subway and light rail lines. It opened in 1995, making Shanghai the third city in Mainland China, after Beijing and Tianjin, to have a rapid transit system...

 and the Beijing Subway
Beijing Subway
The Beijing Subway is a rapid transit rail network that serves the urban and suburban districts of Beijing municipality. It is owned by the city of Beijing and has two operators, the wholly state owned Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp., which operates 12 lines, and the Beijing MTR...

. Unlike normal Spanish road and rail traffic, Madrid Metro trains use left-hand running on some lines due to historical reasons.

Buses


This railway network is ably supported by an ever-expanding network of city buses. The overall length of the bus network of Madrid’s Municipal Transport Corporation (Empresa Municipal de Transportes, or EMT) at yearclose 2008, when 426 million passengers were transported, stood at 3,690 kilometres, marking a 31% increase over the last eight years. These routes are
serviced by a growing fleet of over 2,000 vehicles, while the network as a whole is undergoing a continuous improvement process with a view to attaining the utmost standards of speed, quality and sustainability.

Roads




Madrid is the most important hub of Spain's motorway network and is surrounded by four orbital motorways: M30, M40, M45
M-45 (Spain)
The M-45 motorway, in the Spanish region of Madrid, is one of the several high-capacity roads serving the metropolitan area of Madrid, the capital of Spain. A partial ring around the city, it was built in the early 2000s by the Madrid regional government to help alleviate the congestion of the...

 and M50. M30 circles the central districts and is the inner ring motorway of Madrid. Significant portions of M30 runs underground and its urban motorway tunnels have sections of more than 6 km (3.73 mi) in length and 3 to 6 lanes in each direction, between the south entry of the Avenida de Portugal tunnel and the north exit of the M-30 south by-pass there are close to 10 km (6.21 mi) of continuous tunnels.
M40 is a ring motorway which borders Madrid at a mean distance of 10.07 kilometres (6.3 mi) and it has a total length of 63.3 km (39.33 mi). M45
M-45 (Spain)
The M-45 motorway, in the Spanish region of Madrid, is one of the several high-capacity roads serving the metropolitan area of Madrid, the capital of Spain. A partial ring around the city, it was built in the early 2000s by the Madrid regional government to help alleviate the congestion of the...

 is a partial ring around the city serving the metropolitan area of Madrid. It was built to help alleviate the congestion of the M40 from the southern to the north-eastern, runs between the M40 and the M50 where the two ring motorways are more separated. M50 is the outer of the Madrid orbital motorways and has a total length of 85 km (52.82 mi). It services mainly the metropolitan area at a mean distance of 13.5 km (8.39 mi).

The most important radial autovía
Autovía
An autovía is one of two classes of major highway in the Spanish road system similar to a motorway. It is akin to the autopista, the other major highway class, but has fewer features and is never a toll road. Some distinguishing features of an autovía are that it must be divided by a median, it...

s of Madrid are:
Signal Denomination Itinerary
 A-1  Autovía del Norte  Madrid – Aranda de Duero
Aranda de Duero
Aranda de Duero is a Spanish town and municipality in the south of the province of Burgos, autonomous community of Castile and León. It has a population of roughly 33,000 people. The post code for the town is 09400. The closest airport is in Valladolid....

 – Burgos
Burgos
Burgos is a city of northern Spain, historic capital of Castile. It is situated at the edge of the central plateau, with about 178,966 inhabitants in the city proper and another 20,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León...

 – Miranda de Ebro
Miranda de Ebro
Miranda de Ebro is a city on the Ebro river in the province of Burgos in the autonomous community of Castile and León, Spain. It is located in the north-eastern part of the province, on the border with the province of Álava and the autonomous community of La Rioja...

 – Vitoria
Vitoria-Gasteiz
Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital city of the province of Álava and of the autonomous community of the Basque Country in northern Spain with a population of 235,661 people. It is the second largest Basque city...

 – San Sebastián
San Sebastián
Donostia-San Sebastián is a city and municipality located in the north of Spain, in the coast of the Bay of Biscay and 20 km away from the French border. The city is the capital of Gipuzkoa, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. The municipality’s population is 186,122 , and its...

 A-2  Autovía del Nordeste  Madrid – Guadalajara – Zaragoza
Zaragoza
Zaragoza , also called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain...

 – Lérida – Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 A-3  Autovía del Este  Madrid – Valencia
 A-4  Autovía del Sur  Madrid – Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

 – Sevilla – Jerez
Jerez de la Frontera
Jerez de la Frontera is a municipality in the province of Cádiz in the autonomous community of Andalusia, in southwestern Spain, situated midway between the sea and the mountains. , the city, the largest in the province, had 208,896 inhabitants; it is the fifth largest in Andalusia...

 – Cádiz
Cádiz
Cadiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the homonymous province, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia....

 A-5  Autovía del Suroeste  Madrid – Talavera de la Reina – Navalmoral de la Mata
Navalmoral de la Mata
Navalmoral de la Mata is a municipality located in the province of Cáceres, Extremadura, western Spain. In 2009, the municipality had a population of 17,228 inhabitants.-History:...

 – Mérida
Mérida, Spain
Mérida is the capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura, western central Spain. It has a population of 57,127 . The Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993.- Climate :...

 – Badajoz
Badajoz
Badajoz is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain, situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana, and the Madrid–Lisbon railway. The population in 2007 was 145,257....

 – Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 A-6  Autovía del Noroeste
Autovía A-6
The Autovía A-6 or Autopista AP-6 is a Spanish autovía and autopista route which starts in Madrid and ends in Arteixo ....

 
Madrid – Medina del Campo
Medina del Campo
Medina del Campo is a town located in the middle of the Spanish Meseta Central, in the province of Valladolid, Castile-Leon autonomous region, 45 km from Valladolid. It is the capital of a farming area, far away from the great economic centres.-History:...

 – Benavente
Benavente, Zamora
Benavente is a municipality in the north of the province of Zamora, in the autonomous community Castile and León of Spain. It has about 20,000 inhabitants....

 – Astorga – Ponferrada
Ponferrada
Ponferrada is a city in the province of León, Castile and León, Spain. It lies on the Sil River, a tributary of the river Miño, in the El Bierzo valley, completely surrounded by mountains. It is the last major town along the French route of the Way of St. James before it reaches its destination...

 – Lugo
Lugo
Lugo is a city in northwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Galicia. It is the capital of the province of Lugo. The municipality had a population of 97,635 in 2010, which makes is the fourth most populated city in Galicia.-Population:...

 – La Coruña
 A-42  Autovía de Toledo
Autovía de Toledo
The Autovía de Toledo is a motorway in Spain. It passes through the region of Castile-La Mancha....

 
Madrid – Illescas
Illescas, Toledo
Illescas is a municipality located in the province of Toledo, Castile-La Mancha, Spain. According to the 2006 census , the municipality has a population of 15830 inhabitants.- History :...

 – Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...



Radial tolled autopistas (named R-n instead of A-n) form a new system of accesses to the capital that merges with their autovía
Autovía
An autovía is one of two classes of major highway in the Spanish road system similar to a motorway. It is akin to the autopista, the other major highway class, but has fewer features and is never a toll road. Some distinguishing features of an autovía are that it must be divided by a median, it...

 counterparts far from Madrid. The main advantage to these roads is that they allow true fast travel from the first kilometer.

Signal Denomination Itinerary
 R-2  Autopista Radial 2 Madrid (M-40
Autopista de Circunvalación M-40
The M-40, in Spanish transport, is a Madrid orbital motorway, similar to the M25 motorway in London, or the Boulevard Périphérique in Paris. It is the second-outermost of the Madrid orbital highways, the M-30 being the closest to the centre of Madrid. It has a total length of , looping around...

)—M-50—Guadalajara
Guadalajara, Spain
Guadalajara is a city and municipality in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha, Spain, and in the natural region of La Alcarria. It is the capital of the province of Guadalajara. It is located roughly 60 km northeast of Madrid on the Henares River, and has a population of 83,789...

  (A-2)
 R-3  Autopista Radial 3 Madrid (M-30)—Arganda del Rey
Arganda del Rey
Arganda del Rey is a municipality in Madrid, Spain. It is connected to Madrid by metro line 9, underground.-History:The first definitive habitation in the area dates back to the Arabic presence in the Iberian Peninsula...

 (A-3)
 R-4  Autopista Radial 4 Madrid (M-50)—Aranjuez
Aranjuez
Aranjuez is a town lying 48 km south of Madrid, in the southern part of the Community of Madrid. It is located at the confluence of the Tagus and Jarama rivers, 48 km from Toledo. As of 2009, it has a population of 54,055.-History:...

Ocaña
Ocaña, Spain
Ocaña, a town and municipality of central Spain, in the province of Toledo. It is located on the extreme north of the tableland known as the Mesa de Ocaña, and has a station on the railway from Aranjuez to Cuenca.-History:...

 (A-4/A-40/AP-36)
 R-5  Autopista Radial 5 Madrid (M-40
Autopista de Circunvalación M-40
The M-40, in Spanish transport, is a Madrid orbital motorway, similar to the M25 motorway in London, or the Boulevard Périphérique in Paris. It is the second-outermost of the Madrid orbital highways, the M-30 being the closest to the centre of Madrid. It has a total length of , looping around...

)—Navalcarnero
Navalcarnero
Navalcarnero is a municipality in the Community of Madrid, Spain, located about 31 km from Madrid.Sights include the church of Inmaculada Concepción.-History:...

 (A-5)
 M-12  Eje aeropuerto Madrid (M-40
Autopista de Circunvalación M-40
The M-40, in Spanish transport, is a Madrid orbital motorway, similar to the M25 motorway in London, or the Boulevard Périphérique in Paris. It is the second-outermost of the Madrid orbital highways, the M-30 being the closest to the centre of Madrid. It has a total length of , looping around...

)—M-11—Airport terminal 4—A-1


Twin Towns and Sister Cities


List of twin towns, sister cities and partner cities:
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 Asunción
Asunción
Asunción is the capital and largest city of Paraguay.The "Ciudad de Asunción" is an autonomous capital district not part of any department. The metropolitan area, called Gran Asunción, includes the cities of San Lorenzo, Fernando de la Mora, Lambaré, Luque, Mariano Roque Alonso, Ñemby, San...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Bogotá
Bogotá
Bogotá, Distrito Capital , from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital, and largest city, of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 Caracas
Caracas
Caracas , officially Santiago de León de Caracas, is the capital and largest city of Venezuela; natives or residents are known as Caraquenians in English . It is located in the northern part of the country, following the contours of the narrow Caracas Valley on the Venezuelan coastal mountain range...

, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 Guatemala City
Guatemala City
Guatemala City , is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Guatemala and Central America...

, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

 La Habana, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 La Paz
La Paz
Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of the La Paz Department, and the second largest city in the country after Santa Cruz de la Sierra...

, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...


Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 Managua
Managua
Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua as well as the department and municipality by the same name. It is the largest city in Nicaragua in terms of population and geographic size. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Xolotlán or Lake Managua, the city was declared the national capital in...

, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 Montevideo
Montevideo
Montevideo is the largest city, the capital, and the chief port of Uruguay. The settlement was established in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst a Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region, and as a counter to the Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento...

, Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, US Nouakchott
Nouakchott
-Government:The town was first divided into districts in 1973. First it was divided into four. From 1986, the city has been split into nine districts.* Arafat* Dar Naim* El Mina* Ksar* Riad* Sebkha* Tevragh-Zeina* Teyarett* Toujounine...

, Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

 Panama City
Panama City
Panama is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama. It has a population of 880,691, with a total metro population of 1,272,672, and it is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, in the province of the same name. The city is the political and administrative center of the...

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

 Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Quito
Quito
San Francisco de Quito, most often called Quito , is the capital city of Ecuador in northwestern South America. It is located in north-central Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains...

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

Rabat
Rabat
Rabat , is the capital and third largest city of the Kingdom of Morocco with a population of approximately 650,000...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 San José
San José, Costa Rica
San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Located in the Central Valley, San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation.Founded in 1738 by order of Cabildo de León, San...

, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

 San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan , officially Municipio de la Ciudad Capital San Juan Bautista , is the capital and most populous municipality in Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 395,326 making it the 46th-largest city under the jurisdiction of...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 San Salvador
San Salvador
The city of San Salvador the capital and largest city of El Salvador, which has been designated a Gamma World City. Its complete name is La Ciudad de Gran San Salvador...

, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

 Santiago de Chile, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo, known officially as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Its metropolitan population was 2,084,852 in 2003, and estimated at 3,294,385 in 2010. The city is located on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Ozama River...

, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

 Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 Sofia
Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 Tegucigalpa
Tegucigalpa
Tegucigalpa , and commonly referred as Tegus , is the capital of Honduras and seat of government of the Republic, along with its twin sister Comayagüela. Founded on September 29, 1578 by the Spanish, it became the country's capital on October 30, 1880 under President Marco Aurelio Soto...

, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

 Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...


See also


  • Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
    Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
    The Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, now officially known as the C40 is a group of cities working to reduce urban carbon emissions and to adapt to climate change. It believes it has an important role to play as cities contain around 50% of the world population, consume 75% of the world's...

  • Madrid Conference of 1991
    Madrid Conference of 1991
    The Madrid Conference was hosted by the government of Spain and co-sponsored by the USA and the USSR. It convened on October 30, 1991 and lasted for three days. It was an early attempt by the international community to start a peace process through negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians...

  • OPENCities
    OPENCities
    OPENCities is a project initiated by British Council Spain, to help cities to become more open and competitive. OPENCities demonstrates how international populations contribute to cities long term economic success and advocates for openness as a way forward for cities willing to play an...


External links