Madrid in Madrid

Show Map


Madrid (, ) is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area is the third largest in the European Union after London and Paris. The city spans a total of 604.3 km2.

Madrid urban agglomeration has the 3rd largest GDP in the European Union and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, environment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. Due to its economic output, high standard of living, and market size, Madrid is considered the major financial centre of Southern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula; 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 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.

The city is located on the Manzanares river in the centre of both the country 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 of Castile and León and Castile-La Mancha. As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political centre of Spain. The current mayor is Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón from the People's Party (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; the Teatro Real (Royal theatre) with its restored 1850 Opera House; the Buen Retiro park, founded in 1631; the 19th-century National Library building (founded in 1712) containing some of Spain's historical archives; an archaeological museum; and the Golden Triangle of Art, located along the Paseo del Prado and comprising three art museums: Prado Museum, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 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) and was named "Metragirta" or "Mantua Carpetana". Others contend that the original name of the city was "Ursaria" ("land of bears" in Latin), 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.

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, 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 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 and Vandals, as well as the Sarmatic Alans 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 of the Iberian Peninsula saw the name changed to "Mayrit", from the Arabic 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 "Matrit", which is still in the Madrilenian gentilic.

History

Middle Ages

Although the site of modern-day Madrid has been occupied since pre-historic times, in the Roman era this territory belonged to the diocese of Complutum (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.

Aside from a brief period, 1601–1606, when Felipe III installed his court in Valladolid, Madrid's fortunes have closely mirrored those of Spain.

During the Siglo de Oro (Golden Century), in the 16th/17th century, Madrid knew its ultimate glory; El Escorial, the great royal monastery built by King Philip II of Spain, invited the attention of some of Europe's greatest architects and painters. Diego Velázquez (painter of Las Meninas and The Surrender of Breda), 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, leaving us several portraits that demonstrate his style and skill. El Greco, 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 (author of Don Quixote de la Mancha) and the aforementioned Diego Velázquez. Furthermore, in the city were born many of the great writers of this period: Lope de Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, Calderon de la Barca and Tirso de Molina, and the last of the great painters of the Golden Age, Claudio Coello. The renowned Renaissance architect Juan de Herrera designed the Plaza Mayor, which was built in the city during the Habsburg period as a central plaza. It is located near another famous plaza, the Puerta del Sol.

New palaces (including the Palacio Real de Madrid) were built during Philip V´s reign. However, it would not be until Charles III (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 (1748–1819) became king the people of Madrid revolted. After the Mutiny of Aranjuez, which was led by his own son Ferdinand VII against him, Charles IV 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 and triggering the Spanish War of Independence.

After the war of independence (1814) Ferdinand VII came back to the throne, but after a liberal military revolution, Rafael del Riego 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 (1830–1904). She could not suppress the political tension that would lead to yet another revolt, the First Spanish Republic. This was later followed by the return of the monarchy to Madrid, then the creation of the Second Spanish Republic, preceding the Spanish Civil War. |date=August 2010

Water supply

Madrid derives almost 75 percent of its water supply from dams and reservoirs built on the Lozoya River, such as the El Atazar Dam.

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: Palacio, Embajadores, Cortes, Justicia, Universidad, Sol.
  2. Arganzuela: Imperial, Acacias, La Chopera, Legazpi, Delicias, Palos de Moguer, Atocha.
  3. Retiro: Pacífico, Adelfas, Estrella, Ibiza, Jerónimos, Niño Jesús.
  4. Salamanca: Recoletos, Goya, Parque de las Avenidas, Fuente del Berro, Guindalera, Lista, Castellana.
  5. Chamartín: El Viso, Prosperidad, Ciudad Jardín, Hispanoamérica, Nueva España, Castilla.
  6. Tetuán: Bellas Vistas, Cuatro Caminos, Castillejos, Almenara, Valdeacederas, Berruguete.
  7. Chamberí: Gaztambide, Arapiles, Trafalgar, Almagro, Vallehermoso, Ríos Rosas.
  8. Fuencarral-El Pardo: El Pardo, Fuentelarreina, Peñagrande, Barrio del Pilar, La Paz, Valverde, Mirasierra, El Goloso.
  9. Moncloa-Aravaca: Casa de Campo, Argüelles, Ciudad Universitaria, Valdezarza, Valdemarín, El Plantío, Aravaca.
  10. Latina: Los Cármenes, Puerta del Ángel, Lucero, Aluche, Las Águilas, Campamento, Cuatro Vientos.
  11. Carabanchel: Comillas, Opañel, San Isidro, Vista Alegre, Puerta Bonita, Buenavista, Abrantes.
  12. Usera: Orcasitas, Orcasur, San Fermín, Almendrales, Moscardó, Zofío, Pradolongo.
  13. Puente de Vallecas: Entrevías, San Diego, Palomeras Bajas, Palomeras Sureste, Portazgo, Numancia.
  14. Moratalaz: Pavones, Horcajo, Marroquina, Media Legua, Fontarrón, Vinateros.
  15. Ciudad Lineal: Ventas, Pueblo Nuevo, Quintana, La Concepción, San Pascual, San Juan Bautista, Colina, Atalaya, Costillares.
  16. Hortaleza: Palomas, Valdefuentes, Canillas, Pinar del Rey, Apóstol Santiago, Piovera.
  17. Villaverde: San Andrés, San Cristóbal, Butarque, Los Rosales, Los Ángeles.
  18. Villa de Vallecas: Casco Histórico de Vallecas, Santa Eugenia.
  19. Vicálvaro: Casco Histórico de Vicálvaro, Ambroz.
  20. San Blas: Simancas, Hellín, Amposta, Arcos, Rosas, Rejas, Canillejas, Salvador.
  21. Barajas: Alameda de Osuna, Aeropuerto, Casco Histórico de Barajas, Timón, Corralejos.

Metropolitan area

The Madrid Metropolitan Area comprises the city of Madrid and forty surrounding municipalities. It has a population of slightly more than 6.271 million people

1992 to 2008

Madrid is a major centre for international business 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, 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 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 and Barcelona. Additionally in terms of GDP per capita, 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.

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, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

Madrid is one of the cities in the Iberian Peninsula that attracts most foreign investment and job seekers. The average salary in Madrid during 2007 was 2540€, clearly above the Spanish average of 2085€. In terms of net earnings, Madrid also places first in Spain; 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 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. 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: Ecuadorian: 104,184, Romanian: 52,875, Bolivian: 44,044, Colombian: 35,971, Peruvian: 35,083, Chinese: 34,666, Moroccan: 32,498, Dominican: 19,602, Brazilian: 14,583, and Paraguayan: 14,308. There are also important communities of Filipinos, Equatorial Guineans, Bulgarians, Indians, Italians, Argentines, Senegalese and Poles. 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 currently functions as a museum and gallery that houses a fine art collection of paintings from the 15th to 20th century: Giovanni Bellini, Correggio, Rubens, Zurbarán, Murillo, Goya, Juan Gris, Pablo Serrano. The academy is also the headquarters of the Madrid Academy of Art. Francisco Goya was once one of the academy's directors, and, its alumni include Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Antonio López García, Juan Luna, and Fernando Botero.

The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of Juan Carlos I of Spain, 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 in the world

The National Archaeological Museum of Spain collection includes, among others, Pre-historic, Celtic, Iberian, Greek and Roman antiquities and medieval (Visigothic, Muslim and Christian) objects. Highlights include a replica of the Altamira cave (the first cave in which prehistoric cave paintings were discovered), Lady of Elx (an enigmatic polychrome stone bust), Lady of Baza (a famous example of Iberian sculpture), Biche of Balazote (an iberian sculpture) and Treasure of Guarrazar (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 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. 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 is the National Museum of Natural History of Spain. The research departments of the museum are: Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Ecology, Paleobiology, Vulcanology and Geology.

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 houses an encyclopedic collection specializing in decorative arts. The collection includes paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Claudio Coello, Goya, Pedro Berruguete, El Greco, Hieronymus Bosch, Rembrandt, Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Lawrence and Joshua Reynolds, sculptures by Giambologna and Verrocchio; 10th century Byzantine enamel; Arab and Byzantine ivory chests; Hellenistic, Roman, medieval, renaissance, baroque and romantic jewerly; Pisanello 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(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 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 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
  • 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, whose oldest item is the bell tower (12th century), in Mudejar style. The next oldest temple is San Pedro el Real, with its high brick tower.

St. Jerome Church is a gothic church next to El Prado Museum. The Catholic Monarchs 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, with the goal to house the neoclassical collection of El Prado Museum, and also sculptures by Leone Leoni 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 (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. They are considered masterpieces of Spanish Renaissance sculpture.

St. Isidore Cathedral was built between 1620–1664 by order of Empress Maria of Austria, daughter of Charles V of Germany and I of Spain, 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, but it retained the tomb that holds the incorrupt body of Saint Isidore Laborer and the urn containing the ashes of his wife Maria Torribia.

Royal Convent of La Encarnación 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, 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 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. 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. 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 is sometimes named the "Goya's Sixtine Chapel". The chapel was built on orders of King Charles IV of Spain, 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 was built in neoclassical style in the second half of the 18th century by Francesco Sabatini. 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 (42.4 meters), the Florence Cathedral (42 meters)and the Rotunda of Mosta (37.2 meters) in Malta, but it's larger than St. Paul's Cathedral (30.8 meters) in London and Hagia Sophia (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. 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 (Fuente Ovejuna, The Dog in the Manger, The Knight of Olmedo), who reformed the Spanish theater, a work continued by Calderon de la Barca (Life is a Dream), Francisco de Quevedo, Spanish nobleman and writer famous for his satires, which criticized the Spanish society of his time, and author of ´El Buscón. And finally, Tirso de Molina, who created the famous character Don Juan. In addition, Cervantes and Góngora 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, Mariano José de Larra, Jose de Echegaray (Nobel Prize in Literature), Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Dámaso Alonso, Enrique Jardiel Poncela and Pedro Salinas.

Madrid is home to the Royal Academy of Spanish Language, 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, whose task is the promotion and teaching of Spanish language as well as the dissemination of the culture of Spain and Latin America.

The National Library of Spain 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, especially during the 80s while Madrid's mayor Enrique Tierno Galván (PSOE) was in office, at this time is well-known the cultural movement called la movida and it initially gathered around Plaza del Dos de Mayo. Nowadays, the Malasaña 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 has also become a hot spot in the Madrilenian night life, especially for the gay population. Chueca 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', 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 and Malasaña. There are also several festivals in Madrid including the Festival of Alternative art the Festival of the Alternative Scene.

The neighbourhood of Malasaña as well as Anton Martin and Lavapies 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, there are also "hidden houses", which are illegal bars or abandoned spaces where concerts, poetry reading and the famous Spanish Botellon (a street party or gathering now illegal but rarely stopped).

Classical music and opera

The Auditorio Nacional de Música

is the main venue for classical music concerts in Madrid. It is home to the Spanish National Orchestra, the Chamartín Symphony Orchestra and the venue for the symphonic concerts of the Community of Madrid Orchestra and the Madrid Symphony Orchestra. It is also the principal venue for orchestras on tour playing in Madrid.

The Teatro Real is the main opera house in Madrid, located just in front of the Royal Palace, and its resident orchestra is the Madrid Symphony Orchestra. 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 is mainly devoted to Zarzuela (the Spanish traditional musical theatre genre), as well as operetta and recitals. The resident orchestra of the theatre is the Community of Madrid Orchestra.

The Teatro Monumental is the concert venue of the RTVE Symphony Orchestra.

Other concert venues for classical music are the Fundación Joan March and the Auditorio 400, devoted to contemporary music.

Bullfighting

Madrid hosts the largest Plaza de Toros (bullring) in Spain, Las Ventas, established in 1929. Las Ventas is considered by many to be the world centre of bullfighting and has a seating capacity of almost 25,000. Madrid's bullfighting season begins in March and ends in October. Bullfights are held every day during the festivities of San Isidro (Madrid's patron saint) from mid May to early June, and every Sunday, and public holiday, the rest of the season. The style of the plaza is Neomudéjar. Las Ventas also hosts music concerts and other events outside of the bullfighting season.

Local festivities

  • 15 May, San Isidro Labrador (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 football club Real Madrid, who play their home games at the Santiago Bernabéu. Their supporters are referred to as Madridistas or Merengues (Merengues). Real Madrid is one of the most prestigious football clubs in the world (FIFA selected Real Madrid the best team of the 20th century), having won a record 9 European Cups. 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. Along with Barcelona, Glasgow and Lisbon, Madrid is one of only four cities in Europe to contain two UEFA 5-star stadia: Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu and Atlético Madrid's Vicente Calderón both meet the said criteria. Rayo Vallecano and Getafe CF are two further teams from the Madrid area playing currently in La Liga.

Some of Spain's top footballers are Madrileños (born in Madrid), including Real Madrid former player Emilio Butragueño and co (La Quinta del Buitre, "The Vulture's Quint"), Premier League's Pepe Reina, Fernando Torres and Real Madrid veterans Raúl González, Guti Hernandez and Iker Casillas.


Madrid boasts a prominent place in Spanish basketball, with two clubs in the country's top-level Liga ACB. Real Madrid's basketball section has won 30 Spanish League championships, 22 Spanish Cup championships, 8 Euroleague Championships, 4 Saporta Cups, 4 Intercontinental Cups and have won 2 Triple Crowns. Madrid's other professional basketball club is Estudiantes that have won 3 Spanish Cup 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 (The Magic Box, and also known as the Manzanares Park Tennis Centre) is a tennis structure located at Manzanares Park, used for the Madrid Masters tournament.

The city is also host to the Circuito Permanente Del Jarama, a motorsport race circuit.

Historically, the city serves as the final stage of the Vuelta a España cycling event, in the same way Paris serves as the conclusive stage of the Tour de France.

Skiing is possible in the nearby mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama, where the ski resorts of Valdesqui and Navacerrada are located.

In the past, Madrid has bid to host the 1972 Summer Olympics, the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which were awarded to Munich, London, and Rio de Janeiro respectively. The city has two major annual road running events – the Madrid Marathon and the San Silvestre Vallecana 10 km 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 for the 2020 Olympics.

Club League Sport Venue Established Capacity
Real Madrid C.F. La Liga Football Santiago Bernabéu 1902 80,354
Atlético Madrid La Liga Football Vicente Calderón 1903 54,851
Rayo Vallecano La Liga Football Estadio de Vallecas 1924 15,500
Real Madrid Castilla Segunda División B Football Alfredo di Stéfano 1930 6,000
Real Madrid Baloncesto ACB Basketball Palacio de Deportes de Madrid 1932 16,000
CB Estudiantes ACB Basketball Palacio de Deportes de Madrid 1948 16,000

Education

State Education in Spain is free, and compulsory from 6 to 16 years. The current education system is called LOE (Ley Orgánica de Educación).

Universities

Madrid is home to a large number of public and private universities. 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 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, old Complutum, by Cardinal Cisneros in 1499. Nevertherless, its real origin dates back from 1293, when King Sancho IV of Castile 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, 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 to this purpose. The Spanish Civil War 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. The old Alcalá campus was reopened as the independent UAH, University of Alcalá, in 1977. Complutense also serves to the population of students who select Madrid as their residency during their study abroad 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), is the top technical university in Spain. It is the result of the merge of different Technical Schools of Engineering.

The Autonomous University of Madrid was instituted under the leadership of the famous physicist, Nicolás Cabrera. The Autonoma is widely recognised for its research strengths in theoretical physics. Known simply as la Autónoma in Madrid, its main site is the Cantoblanco Campus, situated 10 mi to the northeast of the capital (M-607) and close to the municipal areas of Madrid, namely Alcobendas, San Sebastián de los Reyes, Tres Cantos and Colmenar Viejo. Located on the main site are the Rectorate building and the Faculties of Science, Philosophy and Fine Arts, Law, Economic Science and Business Studies, Psychology, Higher School of Computing Science and Engineering, and the Faculty of Teacher Training and Education. The Medical School 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 people with a sensitivity to social problems 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.

Some other prestigious universities include Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, rebuilt at Alcalá de Henares 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 Institutions in Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia.

Other universities in Madrid, some of them private, are: Rey Juan Carlos University (public), Universidad Alfonso X, Universidad Antonio de Nebrija, Universidad Camilo José Cela, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca Campus de Madrid, Saint Louis University Madrid Campus 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 and IMD, giving it top billing amongst International MBA programs. Although based in Barcelona, both IESE Business School and ESADE Business School also have Madrid campuses. These three schools are the top-ranked business schools in Spain, consistently rank among the top 20 business schools globally, and offer MBA 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 (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 and Paris 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 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 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 from the city's financial district and 13 km 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, which will only take over the routes operating in Cuatro Vientos Airport.

National rail


Spain's railway system, the Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles (Renfe) operates the vast majority of Spain's railways. Cercanías Madrid is the commuter rail service that serves Madrid and its metropolitan area. It is operated by Cercanías Renfe, the commuter rail division of Renfe. 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. Currently, an ambitious plan includes the construction of a 7,000 km 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. As of 2008, AVE high-speed trains link Atocha station to Seville, Málaga, Córdoba, Ciudad Real and Toledo in the south and to Cuenca, Albacete, Valencia, Zaragoza, Lleida, Tarragona and Barcelona in the east. AVE trains also arrive from Valladolid in the north.

RENFE offers:

  • AVE
  • Alaris
  • Altaria
  • Talgo

Metro

Serving a population of some four million, the Madrid Metro is one of the most extensive and fastest-growing metro 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. In 2007 Madrid's metro system was expanded and it currently runs over 283 km of line. The province of Madrid is also served by an extensive commuter rail network of 370 km called Cercanías.

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 and the Beijing Subway. 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 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 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 of continuous tunnels. M40 is a ring motorway which borders Madrid at a mean distance of 10.07 km and it has a total length of 63.3 km. M45 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. It services mainly the metropolitan area at a mean distance of 13.5 km.

The most important radial autovías of Madrid are:

Signal Denomination Itinerary
 A-1  Autovía del Norte Madrid – Aranda de Duero – Burgos – Miranda de Ebro – Vitoria – San Sebastián
 A-2  Autovía del Nordeste Madrid – Guadalajara – Zaragoza – Lérida – Barcelona
 A-3  Autovía del Este Madrid – Valencia
 A-4  Autovía del Sur Madrid – Córdoba – Sevilla – Jerez – Cádiz
 A-5  Autovía del Suroeste Madrid – Talavera de la Reina – Navalmoral de la Mata – Mérida – Badajoz – Portugal
 A-6  Autovía del Noroeste Madrid – Medina del Campo – Benavente – Astorga – Ponferrada – Lugo – La Coruña
 A-42  Autovía de Toledo Madrid – Illescas – Toledo

Radial tolled autopistas (named R-n instead of A-n) form a new system of accesses to the capital that merges with their autovía 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)—M-50—Guadalajara (A-2)
 R-3  Autopista Radial 3 Madrid (M-30)—Arganda del Rey (A-3)
 R-4  Autopista Radial 4 Madrid (M-50)—Aranjuez—Ocaña (A-4/A-40/AP-36)
 R-5  Autopista Radial 5 Madrid (M-40)—Navalcarnero (A-5)
 M-12  Eje aeropuerto Madrid (M-40)—M-11—Airport terminal 4—A-1

International relations

Twin Towns and Sister Cities

List of twin towns, sister cities and partner cities:

  • Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Asunción, Paraguay
  • Beijing, China
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Bogotá, Colombia
  • Bordeaux, France
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Caracas, Venezuela
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • La Habana, Cuba
  • La Paz, Bolivia
  • Lima, Peru
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Managua, Nicaragua
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Moscow, Russia
  • New York City, US
  • Nouakchott, Mauritania
  • Panama City, Panama
  • Paris, France
  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Rabat, Morocco
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Rome, Italy
  • San José, Costa Rica
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Santiago de Chile, Chile
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Tripoli, Libya
  • Warsaw, Poland

Other historic buildings

See also

  • Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
  • Madrid Conference of 1991
  • OPENCities

Notes and references

External links





Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madrid