Many know Madrid from football. But Madrid is much more than that. Naturally sport is of great importance for the region of Madrid, but not only football and athletics are important here.
As the capital of Spain, Madrid is one of the autonomous communities of the country. Around 6 million people live in the greater Madrid area. The metropolis pulsates and is one of the largest and most important centers in Europe. In the city, Madrid has a population of 3.3 million, making Madrid the third largest city in Europe, after London and Berlin.
The importance of Madrid for Spain
Madrid is very important to Spain. Here in the region is the geographical, political and cultural Center of the country. The Spanish government has its seat here, the King and the Catholic Archbishop reside in Madrid. In addition, important administrative and military apparatus are located here.
The commercial and financial center of Madrid is not only of national but also international importance.
Education is also at the highest level here. There are 6 public universities here, accompanied by several different universities. The art is not neglected here. Theaters, museums and a wide variety of cultural institutions have a high priority.
Also the religious side is important, in 2011 the Catholic World Youth Day will take place in Madrid.
The history of Madrid
Where the Madrid Royal Palace is today, a Moorish castle was built in 886. The population at that time described the area around the castle as meager. From 939 the region was called Majrit. The name Madrid emerged from this as early as 1083, the population was under Castilian rule. In 1588 the hour of Madrid struck. The city has been named the official capital of Spain. Except for the years 1601 to 1606, this was the case until today.
Part of the city was owned by the Spanish Habsburgs built. To this day this part is called “El Madrid de los Austria”, which means something like “The Madrid of the Austrians”. Many important monuments date from this period. So also the Puerta del Sol, the Palacia de Uceda and the Plaza la Villa.
Madrid was also affected by the Spanish Wars of Succession in 1701 and 1713. In 1706, the English and Portuguese briefly took over the regiment through an occupation of Madrid. The French took over the power from 1808 to 1813. Unfortunately, these times left their mark. Entire districts and historic monasteries were torn down. On May 2, 1808, the population resisted. This uprising created a wave of resistance across the country. Since then, May 2nd has been a public holiday in Madrid. Warful years followed. The Carlist Wars raged in Spain from 1833 to 1876. A terrible cholera epidemic struck Madrid, killing many residents. On April 14, 1931, the so-called Second Republic was proclaimed in Madrid. This was followed by the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939, during which Madrid remained republican until the last day.
When the Italians bombed Madrid heavily on March 28, 1929, they destroyed a large part of the city. The German bombings also caused great damage.
The nationalists prevailed together with Francisco Franco and his dictatorship until 1975 also shaped Madrid. There were numerous protests between 1965 and 1973.
In 1975 the Franco died, his dictatorship came to an end. Juan Carlos I took over the government and carried out democratization.
To this day, culture is very important in Madrid. In 1992 Madrid was the European Capital of Culture. In 2005 Madrid applied to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. However, the contract did not go to Spain. The fighting spirit had seized the Madrilenians and they simply applied again. This time they got the approval and so the 2016 Summer Olympics will take place in Madrid.
Madrid – places of interest
Spain’s capital Madrid has a wide range of different sights to offer its visitors.
Anyone who is out and about in the Plaza de Celibes can admire the elaborately designed Cybelebrunnen in the middle of the square. The fountain is also the symbol of the city.
The Plaza de Colon is the place where a statue of Cristoph Columbus stands. Furthermore, the cultural center of Madrid is adjacent here.
Other places of interest in Madrid are Plaza de Espana, Plaza de la Villa, Plaza Mayor and Puerto del Sol.
One of the special buildings in the city is the Casa de Cisneros. It was built in 1540 by the nephew of Cardinal Cineros. The villa was restored at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The construction of the Casa de la Villa or, in short, the town hall began in 1644. The architect was Juan Gomez. It took more than a hundred years for the project to be successfully completed. It was not supposed to be a town hall, but a prison.
The oldest building is the Mudejar-style Casa de los Lujanes. The tower dates from the beginning of the fifteenth century. In 1494 the main house was added on the instructions of Alvaros de Lujan, who used it as a residence with his family.
But Madrid has other buildings that are worth seeing to offer, such as the Casa de las Siete Chimeneas, the Palacio de Uceda or Puente de Segovia.
There is also a long list of different museums in the city. There would be B. the Museo Nacional del Parado. The Prado in particular is world famous for its art galleries. It was opened in 1819, but there are still a few other works of art to marvel at.
The city definitely has some museums dedicated to the arts, but there are also others whose exhibitions deal with incongruent subjects.
Tourists interested in culture will not be able to avoid spending a wonderful evening in one of Madrid’s theaters or opera houses.
The city also has some historically significant sacred buildings to offer. One of the highlights is the Basilica de San Francisco el Grande. The building of the monastery is impressive, but the collection of paintings inside is truly fantastic. Franz von Assisi, the famous monk, is said to have lived here as well.
The Capilla del Opispo is a magnificent but old chapel and the only well-preserved Gothic building in Madrid. It was built in 1520 by the architect Francisco de Vargas. However, the architect could no longer see the end of his project because he died before that, but his son was a worthy successor.
The Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena, completed in 1993, is not old but still worth seeing. It is located right next to the Royal Palace. Many interesting stories revolve
around the Claustro de San JEronimo el Real. Juan Carlos the First is said to have been crowned in the monastery.
Other religious buildings in Madrid would be the Colegiata de San Isidro, the Iglesia de las Salesas Realses, Monasterio de las Descalazas Reales, etc.
The congress building in Madrid is also worth seeing. The neoclassical building was erected in the nineteenth century.
A bit strange, but in Madrid is the Templo de Deboda, an Egyptian temple dedicated to the Egyptian god Ammon. It was a gift to the city.
But the bullring or the Palacio Real should also be seen.