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 6.5 million. The population of the great Madrid is calculated in 7.2 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(SONY PCG-5G2L battery). The city spans a total of 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi).
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(SONY PCG-5G3L battery).
As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political, economic and cultural centre of Spain. The current mayor is Ana Botella from the People's Party (PP).
The Madrid urban agglomeration has the third-largest GDP in the European Union and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, environment, media, fashion, science, culture, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. (SONY PCG-F305 battery)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, such as Telefónica, Iberia or Repsol. Madrid is the most touristic city of Spain, the third in the EU, the fourth-most touristic of the continent, and the seventh in the world according to Forbes. Is the 10th most livable city in the world according to Monocle magazine, in its 2010 index. (SONY PCG-5J1L battery) Madrid also ranks among the 12 greenest European cities in 2010. Madrid is currently a Candidate City for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Madrid houses the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), belonging to the United Nations Organization (UN), the SEGIB and the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI). It also hosts major international institutions regulators of Spanish: the Standing Committee of the Association of Spanish Language Academies(SONY PCG-5J2L battery), headquarters of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), the Cervantes Institute and the Foundation of Urgent Spanish (Fundéu). Madrid organizes fairs as FITUR, ARCO, SIMO TCI  and the Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week.
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(SONY PCG-5K2L battery); the Buen Retiro Park, founded in 1631; the 19th-century National Library building (founded in 1712) containing some of Spain's historical archives; a large number of National museums, 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, which completes the shortcomings of the other two museums. (SONY PCG-5L1L battery)
In the years the Cibeles Palace and Fountain have become the monument symbol of the city.
Alcalá Street and the Metropolis Building
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" (SONY PCG-6S2L battery) ("land of bears" in Latin), because of the many bears that were to be found in the nearby forests, which, together with the strawberry tree (Spanish: madroño), 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".(SONY PCG-6S3L battery) 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(SONY PCG-6V1L battery).
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(SONY PCG-6W1L battery), 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 occupied by the Vandals, who were in turn dispelled by the Visigoths, who then ruled Hispania in the name of the Roman emperor, also taking control of "Matrice". In the 7th century, the Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula saw the name changed to "Mayrit"(SONY PCG-7111L battery), 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.
Although the site of modern-day Madrid has been occupied since prehistoric times, and there are archeological remains of a small Visigoth basilica near the church of Santa María de la Almudena and two visigoth necropolises near Casa de campo and Tetúan(SONY PCG-71511M battery), the first historical certainty about the existence of an established settlement in Madrid dates from the Muslim age. At the second half of the 9th century, Emir Muhammad I of Córdoba built a fortress on a headland near the river Manzanares, as one of the many fortress he ordered to be built on the border between Al-Andalus and the kingdoms of León and Castile(SONY PCG-6W3L battery), with the objective of protecting Toledo from the Christian invasions and also as a starting point for Muslim offensives. After the disintegration of the Caliphate of Córdoba, Madrid was integrated in the Taifa of Toledo.
With the surrender of Toledo by Alfonso VI of León and Castile, the city was conquered by Christians in 1085, and it was integrated into the kingdom of Castile as a property of the Crown. Christians replaced Muslims in the occupation of the center of the city, while Muslims and Jews settled in the suburbs(SONY PCG-7113L battery). The city was thriving and was given the title of "villa", whose administrative district extended from the Jarama in the east to the river Guadarrama in the west. The government of the town was vested to the neighboring of Madrid since 1346, when king Alfonso XI of Castile implements the regiment, for which only the local oligarchy was taking sides in city decisions. Since 1188, Madrid won the right to be a city with representation in the courts of Castile(SONY PCG-7133L battery). In 1202, King Alfonso VIII of Castile gave Madrid its first charter to regulate the municipal council, which was expanded in 1222 by Fernando III of Castile.
The first time the Courts of Castile were joined in Madrid was in 1309 under Ferdinand IV of Castile, and later in 1329, 1339, 1391, 1393, 1419 and twice in 1435. Since the unification of the kingdoms of Spain under a common Crown, the Courts were convened in Madrid more often(SONY PCG-7Z1L battery).
View of Madrid from the west, facing the Puerta de la Vega (1562), by Anton Van der Wyngaerde (called in Spain Antonio de las Viñas), commissioned by Philip II to collect views of his cities. Is seen in the foreground the banks of the Manzanares, crossed by the predecessors to the Segovia Bridge (in the first third), and the Toledo Bridge (further south, right), which was built in a monumental form years later(SONY PCG-7Z2L battery) . The most prominent building in the north (left) is the Alcázar, which was part of the walled circuit and which would undergo several fires until the fatal one in 1734 that almost completely destroyed it and was replaced by the current Palacio Real. The following churches are seen in the village (from left to right: San Gil, San Juan, Santiago, San Salvador, Iglesia de San Miguel de los Octoes, San Nicolás, Santa María, San Justo, San Pedro, la Capilla del Obispo, San Andrés and, outside the walls(SONY PCG-8Y1L battery), San Francisco), that do not yet have even the profile of domes and chapiters by which they would be characterized in the following centuries. Outside the walls and on the river, there is a craft facility dedicated to the treatment of hides: the Pozacho Tanneries. The recent installation of the court imposed a regalía de aposento tax on private houses, which produced all kinds of resistance including, most notably, the construction of casas a la malicia(SONY PCG-8Y2L battery).
During the revolt of the Comuneros, led by Juan de Zapata, Madrid joined the revolt against Emperor Charles V of Germany and I of Spain, but after defeat at the Battle of Villalar, Madrid was besieged and occupied by the royal troops. However, Charles I was generous to the town and gaves it the titles of "Coronada" (Crowned) and "Imperial". When Francis I of France was captured at the battle of Pavia, he was imprisoned in Madrid(SONY PCG-8Z2L battery). And in the village is dated the Treaty of Madrid of 1526 (later denounced by the French) that resolved their situation.
In June 1561, when the town had 30,000 inhabitants, Philip II of Spain moved his court from Toledo to Madrid, installing it in the old castle. Thanks to this, the city of Madrid became the political center of the monarchy, being the capital of Spain except for a short period between 1601 to 1606 (Philip III of Spain government), in which the Court translates to Valladolid(SONY PCG-8Z1L battery). This fact was decisive for the evolution of the city and influenced its fate. A famous expression indicated that identity: "Sólo Madrid es corte" (Madrid is the only court) which, conceptually, is also understood backwards: "Madrid es sólo corte" (Madrid is just court).
During the reign of Philip III and Philip IV of Spain, Madrid saw a period of exceptional cultural brilliance, with the presence of geniuses such as Miguel de Cervantes, Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Quevedo and Lope de Vega. (SONY PCG-7112L battery)
The death of Charles II of Spain resulted in the War of the Spanish succession. The city supported the claim of Philip of Anjou as Philip V. While the city was occupied in 1706 by a Portuguese army, who proclaimed king the Archduke Charles of Austria under the name of Charles III, and again in 1710, remained loyal to Philip V(SONY PCG-6W2L battery).
Philip V built the Royal Palace, the Royal Tapestry Factory and the main Royal Academies. But the most important Bourbon was King Charles III of Spain, who was known as "the best major of Madrid". Charles III 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) (SONY PCG-5K1L battery), and cultural institutions (El Prado Museum, Royal Botanic Gardens, Royal Observatory, etc.). Despite being known as one of the greatest benefactors of Madrid, its beginnings were not entirely peaceful, as in 1766 had to overcome the Esquilache Riots, a traditionalist revolt instigated by the nobility and clergy against reformist intentions that brought Charles III,demanding the repeal of the clothing decree ordering the shortening of the layers and the prohibition of the use of hats hide the face, with the aim of reducing crime in the city. (SONY VGP-BPS8 battery)
The reign of Charles IV of Spain is not very meaningful to Madrid, except for the presence of Goya in the Court, which portrayed the popular and courtly life of the city.
On 27 October 1807, Charles IV and Napoleon I signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau, which allowed the passage of French troops through Spanish territory to join the Spanish troops and invade Portugal, which had refused to obey the order of blockade international against England(SONY VGP-BPS8A battery). As this was happening, there was the Mutiny of Aranjuez (17 March 1808), by which the crown prince, Ferdinand VII, replaced his father as king. However, when Ferdinand VII returned to Madrid, the city was already occupied by Joachim-Napoléon Murat, so that both the king and his father were virtually prisoners of the French army. Napoleon, taking advantage of the weakness of the Spanish Bourbons, forcing both, first the father then the son, to join him in Bayonne, where Ferdinand arrived on 20 April(SONY VGP-BPL8 battery).
In the absence of the two kings, the situation became more and more tense in the capital. On 2 May, a crowd began to concentrate at the Royal Palace. The crowd saw the French soldiers pulled out of the palace to the royal family members who were still in the palace. Immediately, the crowd launched an assault on the floats. The fight lasted hours and spread throughout Madrid(SONY VGP-BPS9 battery). Subsequent repression was brutal. In the Paseo del Prado and in the fields of La Moncloa hundreds of patriots were shot due to Murat's order against "Spanish all carrying arms". Paintings such as The Third of May 1808 by Goya reflect the repression that ended the popular uprising on 2 May.
The Peninsular War against Napoleon, despite the last absolutist claims during the reign of Ferdinand VII, gave birth to a new country with a liberal and bourgeois character, open to influences coming from the rest of Europe(SONY VGP-BPS9/S battery). Madrid, the capital of Spain, experience like no other city the changes caused by this opening and filled with theaters, cafes and newspapers. Madrid is frequently altered by revolutionary outbreaks and pronouncements, such as Vicálvaro 1854, led by General Leopoldo O'Donnell and initiating the progressive biennium. However, in the early-20th century Madrid looked more a small town than a modern city(SONY VGP-BPS9A battery). During the first third of the 20th century the population nearly doubled, reaching more than 950,000 inhabitants. New suburbs such as Las Ventas, Tetuán or El Carmen, became the homes of the influx of workers, while Ensanche became a middle-class neighbourhood of Madrid.
The Spanish Constitution of 1931 was the first legislated on the state capital, setting it explicitly in Madrid(SONY VGP-BPS9A/B battery).
Madrid was one of the most heavily affected cities of Spain in the Civil War (1936–1939). The city was a stronghold of the Republicans from July 1936. Its western suburbs were the scene of an all-out battle in November 1936 and it was during the Civil War that Madrid became the first European city to be bombed by airplanes (SONY VGP-BPS9/B battery) (Japan was the first to bomb civilians in world history, at Shanghai in 1932) specifically targeting civilians in the history of warfare. (See Siege of Madrid (1936–39)).
During the economic boom in Spain from 1959 to 1973, the city experienced unprecedented, extraordinary development in terms of population and wealth, becoming the largest GDP city in Spain, and ranking third in Western Europe(SONY VGP-BPS9A/S battery). The municipality is extended, annexing neighbouring council districts, to achieve the present extension of 607 km2 (234.36 sq mi). The south of Madrid became very industrialized, and there were massive migrations from rural areas of Spain into the city. Madrid's newly built north-western districts became the home of the new thriving middle class that appeared as result of the 1960s Spanish economic boom(SONY VGP-BPL9 battery), while south-eastern periphery became an extensive working-class settlement, which was the base for an active cultural and political reform.
Monuments of the city
After the death of Franco and the democratic regime, the 1978 constitution confirms Madrid as the capital of Spain. In 1979, the first municipal elections bring democracy to Madrid's first democratically elected mayor since the Second Republic(SONY VGP-BPS10 battery). Madrid was the scene of some of the most important events of the time, as the mass demonstrations of support for democracy after the foiled coup, 23-F, on 23 February 1981. The first democratic mayors belong to the leftist parties (Enrique Tierno Galván, Juan Barranco), turning the city after more conservative positions (Agustin Rodriguez Sahagun, Jose Maria Alvarez del Manzano(SONY VGP-BPL10 battery), Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón and Ana Botella). Benefiting from increasing prosperity in the 1980s and 1990s, the capital city of Spain has consolidated its position as an important economic, cultural, industrial, educational, and technological centre on the European continent.
The City Council consists of 57 members, one of them being the Mayor, currently Ana Botella. The Mayor presides over the Council(SONY VGP-BPS11 battery).
The Plenary of the Council is the body of political representation of the citizens in the municipal government. Some of its attributions are: fiscal matters, the election and deposition of the Mayor, the approval and modification of decrees and regulations, the approval of budgets, the agreements related to the limits and alteration of the municipal term, the services management, the participation in supramunicipal organizations, etc. (SONY VGP-BPL11 battery) Nowadays, mayoral team consists of the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and 8 Delegates; all of them form The Board of Delegates (the Municipal Executive Committee).
Madrid has tended to be a stronghold of the People's Party, which has controlled the city's mayoralty since 1989. In the 2007 regional and local elections, the conservative People's Party (PP, right-wing political party) obtained 34 seats, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE, centre-left political party) obtained 18 and United Left (IU, left political party) obtained 5(SONY VGP-BPL12 battery).
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón Jiménez has been in office since 2003, when he left the Presidency of the Autonomous Community of Madrid and stood as the candidate to replace outgoing mayor José María Álvarez del Manzano, also from the PP. In the last local elections of 2007, Ruiz-Gallardón increased the PP majority in the City Council to 34 seats out of 57, taking 55.5% of the popular vote and winning in all but two districts(SONY VGP-BPS12 battery).
The Madrid region features a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa) with cold winters due to its altitude of (650 m (2,133 ft) above sea level in Alicante), including sporadic snowfalls and minimum temperatures often below freezing. Summers are hot with temperatures that consistently surpass 30 °C (86 °F) in July and August and rarely above 40 °C (104 °F). Due to Madrid's altitude and dry climate, diurnal ranges are often significant during the summer(SONY VGP-BPS13 battery). Precipitation is concentrated in the autumn and spring. It is particularly sparse during the summer, taking the form of about two showers and/or thunderstorms a month.
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(SONY VGP-BPS13Q battery), 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(SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q battery).
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. (SONY VGP-BPS13B/Q battery)
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. (SONY VGP-BPS13/B battery)
Districts that host the largest number of immigrants are Usera (28.37%), Centro (26.87%), Carabanchel (22.72%) and Tetuán (21.54%). Districts that host the smallest number are Fuencarral-El Pardo (9.27%), Retiro (9.64%) and Chamartín (11.74%).
Madrid districts. The numbers correspond with the list in the left
Centro: Palacio, Embajadores, Cortes, Justicia, Universidad, Sol.
Arganzuela: Imperial, Acacias, La Chopera, Legazpi, Delicias, Palos de Moguer, Atocha.
Retiro: Pacífico, Adelfas, Estrella, Ibiza, Jerónimos, Niño Jesús(SONY VGP-BPS13B/B battery).
Salamanca: Recoletos, Goya, Parque de las Avenidas, Fuente del Berro, Guindalera, Lista, Castellana.
Chamartín: El Viso, Prosperidad, Ciudad Jardín, Hispanoamérica, Nueva España, Castilla.
Tetuán: Bellas Vistas, Cuatro Caminos, Castillejos, Almenara, Valdeacederas, Berruguete.
Chamberí: Gaztambide, Arapiles, Trafalgar, Almagro, Vallehermoso, Ríos Rosas.
Fuencarral-El Pardo: El Pardo, Fuentelarreina, Peñagrande, Barrio del Pilar, La Paz, Valverde, Mirasierra, El Goloso(SONY VGP-BPS13A/S battery).
Moncloa-Aravaca: Casa de Campo, Argüelles, Ciudad Universitaria, Valdezarza, Valdemarín, El Plantío, Aravaca.
Latina: Los Cármenes, Puerta del Ángel, Lucero, Aluche, Las Águilas, Campamento, Cuatro Vientos.
Carabanchel: Comillas, Opañel, San Isidro, Vista Alegre, Puerta Bonita, Buenavista, Abrantes.
Usera: Orcasitas, Orcasur, San Fermín, Almendrales, Moscardó, Zofío, Pradolongo.
Puente de Vallecas: Entrevías, San Diego, Palomeras Bajas, Palomeras Sureste, Portazgo, Numancia(SONY VGP-BPS21A/B battery).
Moratalaz: Pavones, Horcajo, Marroquina, Media Legua, Fontarrón, Vinateros.
Ciudad Lineal: Ventas, Pueblo Nuevo, Quintana, La Concepción, San Pascual, San Juan Bautista, Colina, Atalaya, Costillares.
Hortaleza: Palomas, Valdefuentes, Canillas, Pinar del Rey, Apóstol Santiago, Piovera.
Villaverde: San Andrés, San Cristóbal, Butarque, Los Rosales, Los Ángeles.
Villa de Vallecas: Casco Histórico de Vallecas, Santa Eugenia.
Vicálvaro: Casco Histórico de Vicálvaro, Ambroz.
San Blas: Simancas, Hellín, Amposta, Arcos, Rosas, Rejas, Canillejas, Salvador.
Barajas: Alameda de Osuna, Aeropuerto, Casco Histórico de Barajas, Timón, Corralejos.
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 and covers an area of 4.609,7 km². It is the largest metropolitan area in Spain and the third largest in European Union(SONY VGP-BPS21B battery).
As with many metropolitan areas of similar size, two distinct zones of urbanisation can be distinguished:
Inner ring (primera corona): Alcorcón, Leganés, Getafe, Móstoles, Fuenlabrada, Coslada, Alcobendas, Pozuelo de Alarcón, San Fernando de Henares
Outer ring (segunda corona): Villaviciosa de Odón, Parla, Pinto, Valdemoro, Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Torrejón de Ardoz, Alcalá de Henares, San Sebastián de los Reyes, Tres Cantos, Las Rozas de Madrid, Majadahonda, Boadilla del Monte(SONY VGP-BPS21 battery)
The largest suburbs are to the South, and in general along the main routes leading out of Madrid.
Submetropolitan areas inside Madrid metropolitan area:
Very little medieval architecture is preserved in Madrid. We know from historical documents that the city was walled and had a castle (the Alcázar) in the same place where the Royal Palace now stands. Among the few preserved medieval buildings are the mudejar towers of San Nicolás and San Pedro el Viejo churches, the palace of Luján family (located in the Plaza de la Villa) (SONY VGP-BPS21/S battery), the Gothic church of St. Jerome, part of a monastery built by the Catholic Monarchs in the 15th century, and the Bishop's Chapel.
Nor has Madrid retained many examples of Renaissance architecture, except for the Cisneros house (one of the buildings flanking the Plaza de la Villa), the Bridge of Segovia and the Convent of Las Descalzas Reales, whose austere exterior gives no idea of the magnificent art treasures inside(SONY VGP-BPS13AS battery).
When Philip II moved his court to Madrid in 1561, a series of reforms began, reforms that aimed to transform the town into a capital city worthy of the name. These reforms were embodied in the Plaza Mayor, designed by Juan de Herrera (author of El Escorial) and Juan Gomez de Mora, characterized by its symmetry and austerity, as well as the new Alcazar, who would become the second most impressive royal palace of the kingdom(SONY VGP-BPS13S battery).
Many of the historic buildings of Madrid were built during the reign of the Hapsburgs. The material used was mostly brick and the humble facades contrast with the elaborate interiors. Juan Gómez de Mora built notable buildings such as Casa de la Villa, Prison of the Court, the Palace of the Councils and Royal Convent of La Encarnación(SONY VGP-BPS13B/S battery). The Buen Retiro Palace was a vanished work by Alonso Carbonel, today on the grounds of the Retiro Park, with beautiful rooms decorated by the best artists in times of Philip IV (Velázquez, Carducci, Zurbarán). Imperial College become an important institution run by the Jesuits, and the model dome of the church would be imitated in all Spain, thanks to the cheap materials used in its construction(SONY VGP-BPS13B/G battery).
Before the arrival of the Bourbons at Madrid, the architect Pedro de Ribera was one of the most important architects in Madrid. Ribera introduced Churrigueresque architecture to Madrid, characterized by ornamental overload on their covers, as an altarpiece. The History Museum, the Cuartel del Conde-Duque, the church of Montserrat and the Bridge of Toledo are the best examples(SONY VGP-BPS14 battery).
The arrival of the Bourbons marked a new era in the city. The burning of the Alcazar of Madrid served as an excuse for Philip V of Spain to build a palace on its foundations, a palace more in line with the French taste. Filippo Juvarra, an architect specializing in the construction of royal palaces, was chosen to design the new palace. His design was inspired by a Bernini's design rejected for the Louvre in Paris(SONY VGP-BPL14 battery). Juvarra died before the work began, and the project was substantially modified by his disciple Giovainni Battista Sacchetti. Other buildings of the time were the St. Michael's Basilica and the Convent of Santa Barbara.
King Charles III of Spain was more interested in beautifying the city. He was an enlightened monarch and endeavored to convert Madrid into one of the great European capitals. He pushed forward the construction of the Prado Museum (designed by Juan de Villanueva) (SONY VGP-BPS14/B battery). The building was originally intended to serve as a Natural Science Museum. Charles III was also responsible for design of the Puerta de Alcalá, the Royal Observatory (Juan de Villanueva), the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande (Francesco Sabatini), the Casa de Correos in Puerta del Sol, the Real Casa de la Aduana (Francesco Sabatini) and the General Hospital by Sabatini (now houses the Reina Sofia Museum and Royal Conservatory of Music) (SONY VGP-BPS14/S battery). The Paseo del Prado, surrounded by gardens and decorated with neoclassical statues inspired by mythological gods, is an example of urban planning. The Duke of Berwick ordered Ventura Rodríguez the construction of the Liria Palace.
Subsequently, the Peninsular War, the loss of colonies in the Americas, and the continuing coups prevented the city from developing interesting architecture (Royal Theatre,the National Library of Spain,the Palace of the Senate and the Congress) (SONY VGP-BPS14B battery). In the slums of Madrid during this time, a kind of substandard house was developed that today has a special historical charm: an example is the corralas, which currently still exist in the neighborhood of Lavapies.
From the late-19th century until the Civil War, Madrid modernized and built new neighborhoods and monuments, both in the capital and in neighboring towns. In the mid-19th century the expansion of Madrid developed under the plan Castro(SONY VGP-BPS22 battery), resulting in the neighborhoods of Salamanca, Argüelles and Chamberí. Arturo Soria conceived the linear city and built the first few kilometers of the road that bears his name, which embodies the idea. Antonio Palacios build a series of eclectic buildings inspired by the Viennese Secession. Some representative examples are the Palacio de Comunicaciones, the Circulo de Bellas Artes and the Río de La Plata Bank (Instituto Cervantes) (SONY VGP-BPS22 battery). Ricardo Velázquez Bosco designed the Crystal Palace and the Palacio de Velázquez in the Retiro Park. Secundino Zuazo built the Palacio de la Música and the Casa de las Flores. The Bank of Spain was designed by Eduardo Adaro and Severiano Sainz de la Lastra. Meanwhile, the Marquis of Cubas began the Almudena Cathedral project, which was to be a neo-Gothic church with neo-Romanesque cloister. Alberto de Palacio designed Atocha Station(SONY VGP-BPS18 battery). The Palace of Longoria was designed by José Grases Riera in Catalan art-nouveau. Las Ventas Bullring was built in the early-20th century, as the Market of San Miguel (Cast-Iron style). Finally, Delicias Railway Station is the oldest example of this kind of infrastructure according to the model of Henri de Dion.
The Gran Via is considered a showcase of early-20th-century architecture, with patterns ranging from Vienna Secession style, Plateresque, Neo-Mudéjar, Art Deco and others(SONY VGP-BPS22/A battery).
Also the construction of Gran Vía began in the early-20th century, with the task of freeing the old town. They used different styles that evolved over time: The Metropolis building is built in French style and the Edificio Grassy is eclectic, while Telefónica Building is art deco, with baroque ornaments. The Carrión (or Capitol) Building is expressionist, and the Palace of the Press, another example of art deco(SONY VGP-BPS22A battery).
The Civil War severely damaged the city, including the Ciudad Universitaria (University City), which was one of the most beautiful architectural complexes of the time. Subsequently, unscrupulous mayors would destroy the old town and the Ensanche, in a city which until the war was a good example of urban planning and architecture. Numerous blocks of flats with no value were built, and some examples of Fascist architecture(SONY Vaio VGN-CR11H/B battery), such as the Spanish Air Force headquarters (inspired by El Escorial), the Nuevos Ministerios by Secundino Zuazo and the skyscrapers of Plaza de España, at the time the highest in Europe, were built.
With the advent of Democracy and the Spanish economic develope, projecting skyscrapers in the city as Torre Picasso, designed by Minoru Yamasaki; Torres Blancas and Torre BBVA (both by Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza) and once in the 1990s(SONY Vaio VGN-CR116E battery), the Torres Kio, architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee. Moreover, in the 1990s completes construction of the Cathedral of the Almudena. The National Auditorium of Music is a work of 1988.
In the 21st century, Madrid faces new challenges in its architecture. It reahbilitates historical spaces to make them modern buildings: a brewery becomes library, a slaughtergouse is now a cultural center, an industrial warehouse is the Interpretation Centre of New Technologies, and the CaixaForum Madrid (Herzog & de Meuron) was a former power station(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11S battery).
Under the government of Alberto Ruiz Gallardón were built the four tallest skyscrapers in Spain, and together form the Cuatro Torres Business Area. The Manzanares River is crossed by new edge bridges, and start up the International Convention Centre (Mansilla+Tuñón), original round building, whose works remain paralyzed by the crisis. Caja Mágica(Dominique Perrault) sport centre was also built and the Reina Sofia Museum is expanded with the help of Jean Nouvel(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15T battery).
Madrid Barajas International Airport Terminal 4, designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers (winning them the 2006 Stirling Prize), and TPS Engineers, (winning them the 2006 IStructE Award for Commercial Structures) was inaugurated on 5 February 2006. Terminal 4 is one of the world's largest terminal areas, with an area of 760,000 square metres (8,180,572 square feet) in two separate terminals: a main building, T4 (470,000 square metres) (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15G battery), and satellite building, T4S (290,000 square metres), which are separated by approximately 2.5 km (2 mi). The new terminal is meant to give passengers a stress-free start to their journey. This is managed through careful use of illumination, available by glass panes instead of walls and numerous domes in the roof which allow natural light to pass through. With the new addition, Barajas is designed to handle 70 million passengers annually(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ4000 battery).
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. Madrid's citizens have access to a green area within a 15 minute walk. Since 1997, green areas have increased by 16%. At present, 8.2% of Madrid's grounds are green areas, meaning that there are 16 m2 (172 sq ft) of green area per inhabitant, far exceeding the 10 m2 (108 sq ft) per inhabitant recommended by the World Health Organization(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ460E battery).
Parque del Retiro, formerly the grounds of the palace built for Felipe IV, is Madrid's most popular park and the largest park in central Madrid. Its area is more than 1.4 km² (350 acres) and it is located very close to the Puerta de Alcalá and not far from the Prado Museum. A magnificent park, filled with beautiful sculpture and monuments, galleries(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ440E battery), a peaceful lake and host to a variety of events, it is one of Madrid's premier attractions. The park is entirely surrounded by the present-day city. Its lake in the middle once staged mini naval sham battles to amuse royalty; these days the more tranquil pastime of pleasure boating is popular. Inspired by London's crystal palace, the palacio de cristal can be found at the south-eastern end of the park(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ430E battery).
In the Retiro Park is also the Forest of the Departed (Spanish Bosque de los Ausentes), a memorial monument to commemorate the 191 victims of the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks.
Atocha Railway Station is not only the city's first and most central station but also home to a distinctive indoor garden with 4,000 square metres of tropical plants. Atocha station has become a hothouse destination in itself for plant lovers(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ280E battery), with more than 500 species of plant life and ponds with turtle and goldfish in, as well as shops and cafes. It's a nice place to visit on a cold or wet day with its even temperature of 24 degrees Celsius, or on a scorching summer day as a retreat from the heat.