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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Madrid

HISTORY

The first historical document about the existence of an established settlement in Madrid dates from the Muslim age. Emir Muhammad I of Córdoba had a fortress built between 860 and 880.where the Palacio Real stands today.

With the surrender of Toledo to Alfonso VI of León and Castile, Madrid was conquered by Christians in 1085, and it was integrated into the kingdom of Castile as a property of the Crown.

In 1202, King Alfonso VIII of Castile gave Madrid its first charter to regulate the municipal council, which was expanded in 1222 by Ferdinand III of Castile.



In June 1561, when the town had 30,000 inhabitants, Philip II of Spain moved his court from Valladolid to Madrid, installing it in the old castle. Thanks to this, the city of Madrid became the political center of the monarchy and the capital of a very large empire.

Philip II of Spain, reacting to the Protestant Reformation sweeping through Europe during the 16th century, engaged the Spanish architect, Juan Bautista de Toledo, to be his collaborator in the design of El Escorial as a monument to Spain's role as a center of the Christian world. The building's cornerstone was laid on April 23, 1563 at the the foot of Mt. Abantos about 45 kilometres (28 miles) northwest of Madrid.

San Lorenzo del Escorial Palace was finished on September 13, 1584. The grim monastic palace, is one of Europe's greatest architectural monuments.

San Lorenzo del Escorial Palace 

The world's oldest restaurant still in operation, the Casa Botin in Madrid, opened in 1725.

The old Alcázar ("Castle") was built on the location of the Palacio Real de Madrid in the 16th century. It burned to the ground on December 24, 1734 and King Philip V ordered a new palace built on the same site. Construction spanned the years 1738 to 1755 and Charles III first occupied the new Palacio Real de Madrid in 1764.

17th-century painting of the Real Alcázar de Madrid

King Charles III of Spain took upon himself the feat of transforming Madrid into a capital worthy of this category. He ordered the construction of sewers, street lighting, cemeteries outside the city, and many monuments (Puerta de Alcalá, Cibeles Fountain), and cultural institutions (El Prado Museum, Royal Botanic Gardens, Royal Observatory, etc.).

During the Spanish Civil War Madrid became the first European city to be bombed by airplanes. Generalissimo Francisco Franco finally conquered Madrid on March 28, 1939, after a siege lasting nearly three years.

During the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, especially during the 1960s, the south of Madrid became very industrialized, and many people from the rural areas moved to Madrid especially to the south east of the city.

Gran Via, Madrid
FUN MADRID FACTS

Madrid derives almost three quarters of its water supply from dams and reservoirs built on the Lozoya River, such as the El Atazar Dam, which was built in 1972 and inaugurated by Francisco Franco.

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.

Campo del Moro Gardens

Madrid is home to two world-famous football clubs, Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid. Real Madrid is one of the most prestigious football clubs of the world (FIFA selected Real Madrid the best team of the 20th century), having won a record 10 European Cups. Forbes magazine listed it in 2015 as the most valuable football club in the world, valued at $3.26 billion.

General Francisco Franco is buried at the Valley of the Fallen, where there is also a Benedictine abbey, and an almost 500-foot-high cross that looms over the basilica esplanade. The brutal dictator ordered the construction ordered the construction of this monument to honor those who died for his cause during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. It is the fourth most visited site managed by Spain’s National Heritage Trust.

At 655 m (2,100 ft) above sea level, Madrid is the highest capital of any European country.

The population of the city of Madrid is almost 3.2 million with a metropolitan area population of 6,489,162 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin,

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