Madrid is the capital of Spain and the administrative center of the Madrid region. It is located in the central part of the Iberian Peninsula.
Madrid is the largest city in Spain and the fifth most populous city in Europe after Istanbul, London, Berlin, and Paris.
According to the excavation, the human traces of the region and the history of Madrid extend back to the paleolithic time. There are trivial small settlements here that belong to the Roman settlement of the 2nd century BC and the next Visigoths.
According to recent researches and a theory, the name of Madrid originates from the name Matrice given to this region by these early settlements.
When did Madrid Become the Capital?
For the first time, Henry III of Castile built a palace in the El Pardo district outside Madrid today, early in the 1400’s.
In 1561, Philip II of Spain moved the Royal Courts to Madrid, a small and insignificant settlement, and shortly after, Madrid was declared the capital. Thus Madrid’s population has reached 30,000. Soon new palaces, churches, monasteries, and roads were built in Madrid. A lot of noble, wealthy and statesmen settled in Madrid with the attraction of the new capital.
With the discovery of the New World in the Middle Ages and the gold and wealth from South America, Madrid has grown and enriched. In the 18th Century, during the reign of Charles II of Spain, Madrid was renewed and the landscape had a European appearance. For this reason, Charles II of Spain has the appellation of “Madrid’s Best Mayor”.
The history of Madrid has recently been quite turbulent and gray. The end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century are the most severe periods of economic crisis in Spain. This crisis triggered the political turmoil of the country and eventually led to the Spanish Civil War.
Between 1936 and 1939, according to some sources, over 600,000 people lost their lives in the Spanish Civil War, one of the world’s greatest civil wars between the fascist General Franco from the radical right and the Republican left. The result was Franco’s victory and the 40-year dictatorship started.
Franco proclaimed all the state institutions in Madrid and gave Madrid some privileges according to other cities.
With the death of Franco in 1978, the dictatorship ended in Spain, the Juan Carlos I of Spain came back to the country, and the time of new democratic constitution and today’s parliamentary democratic Spain has begun.
Features of Madrid
In addition to its rich historical heritage, it is also a vital cultural and artistic center. It is in recent history that it has gained a dominant role in the development and in the economy of the country. The area of the metropolitan area is 1,020 km² and its population is over 4 million.
Madrid, one of the highest capitals of Europe, is at an altitude of 635 m on a wavy plateau of the Central Plateau. Sudden temperature changes are common because of their high position and the influence of air masses. The summer months are suffocating and the temperature sometimes reaches 38 ° C. The average annual temperature varies between 2 ° and 24 ° C.
Contributors to the banking and insurance-based economy are administrative services, transport network, and tourism income. After World War II, industry developed and manufacturing sector increased.
Major industrial goods include railway and tractor construction, conversion metallurgy, construction of electrical appliances. Moreover, food industry, textile, chemical, plastics processing, optical goods, automobile, and truck engines are important.
Important Places to See in Madrid
Madrid, is a city of history, thanks to the Muslims who went to Toledo in the 12th century. The city lags behind Barcelona in tourist terms. However, Neo-Classical buildings, 24 hours alive streets, popular restaurants, and lively nightlife are quite attractive to tourists. At the beginning of the places to see in Madrid; Prado Museum, Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace of Madrid.