Madrid: Facts About the Capital of Spain

Here are some facts about Madrid.

  • Madrid is the capital of Spain, and the 3rd largest city in the European Union, with about 6.5 million people. It is located on the Manzanares River in the centre of Spain.
  • Madrid was founded in the 9th century and became the capital during the 16th century.
  • During the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s it was the first European city to be bombed from the air.
  • The city’s name comes from an Arabic word meaning place of many streams.
  • Madrid’s mascot is a bear feasting on berries from a tree, which represents the city’s wealth and growth.
  • Madrid has a very high number of trees per resident, and everyone lives within a 15 minute walk of a park. There is a 4,000 square metre indoor garden in the railway station.
  • It is one of Europe’s highest capitals at 650 metres above sea level.
  • Madrid has Spain’s largest and busiest airport.
  • It has more cloudless days than almost any other European city.
  • Madrid’s Prado Museum has one of the world’s finest collections of European Art. Many of its 15,000 paintings and drawings came from private Royal collections of the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • The Reina Sofia modern art museum contains one of the world’s most famous paintings, Guernica by Pablo Picasso. However, the building has also been voted one of the world’s ugliest buildings.
  • The Royal Palace is one of Europe’s largest and has the world’s largest collection of Stradivarius violins. It has over 3,400 rooms and covers 135,000 square metres.
  • Madrid has the largest bullfighting arena in Spain, which can seat almost 25,000. The bullfighting costume of Manolete, a famous matador, can be seen at the bullfighting museum.
  • Madrid is home to one of the most successful football clubs of all time, Real Madrid. The club’s huge stadium, Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, can easily hold almost 90,000 football fans.

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