Madrid is the capital city of Spain and is one of the most popular tourist destinations around the world. Located on the river Manzanares, which flows right through the center of the country and through the Community of Madrid, it is also the largest city of the country. The Community of Madrid is bordered by the independent communities of Castile and León and Castile-La Mancha and is located centrally in the country. The place complements both the bygone era and also has a modern feel to it. People have come from all the parts of Spain to settle in this capital city, thereby enriching and diversifying its cultural dimensions. The official language spoken in Madrid is Spanish, although many parts of the city house communities that speak English fluently. Like al other places, you may want to brush up on some prior information and facts, before visiting this striking city. Read on to explore some interesting and fun facts about the city of Madrid.
Established In: 9 AD
Established By: Ocno Bianor
Population: 3,265,038 (2011)
Area: 605.77 km2
Fun & Interesting Facts About Madrid
- Madrid has been the capital of Spain since the 17th century. It is also the largest city of Spain.
- The name Madrid comes from the Arabic "magerit" which means 'place of many streams'.
- Madrid is home to a prestigious bull-fighting museum, where people can go and get a brief insight about the sport and its history. The costumes worn by ‘Maloletes’ have also been put on display here.
- Madrid has no beach, although there is a plan to create an urban beach area by the year 2010, near river Manzanares.
- Madrid is famous for its open-air pool called the ‘Aquasur’. This pool has five giant slides and is a favorite with the kids during summer. The main attractions here are the five giant water slides.
- Madrid is located on a plateau that is 650 meters above sea level. It is the highest capital city in Europe.
- Madrid is the political center of Spain.
- Madrid is known for a ‘carnivale’, which is celebrated weeks before Lent. Here, the highlights of the festival are ‘Ash Wednesday’ and ‘Shrove Tuesday’, where men bury a mock coffin by the riverside to recollect a tragic event that took place in the 18th century.
- Madrid’s official symbol is a bear that feast on the berries from the madrono tree. This symbolizes Madrid’s growth and highlights the importance of wildlife and wood that is required to build the country.
- Madrid is a major center for international business and commerce. It is one of the largest centers for finance in Europe and the largest financial center in Spain.
- The international airport of Madrid, at Barajas, is the largest one in Spain.
- Due to its economic output, standard of living, and market size, Madrid is considered to be a major financial center of the Iberian Peninsula.
- ‘Madrilenos’ are often called ‘Gatos’ (cats) because of their late sleeping habits and because of the legend of the Arab soldier who climbed the outer walls of the great city with the nimbleness of a cat. Thus, Madrilenos are called ‘Gatos’, because of their swift, agile movements.
- Madrid is home to the head offices of a number of major Spanish companies, including three of the world’s 100 largest companies.
- Madrid enjoys more cloudless days than almost any other city in Europe.
- According to FIFA, Real Madrid FC is the world's most successful football club of the 20th century. Their stadium is called Bernabéu, and it is located in Chamartín, in the North of Madrid. It has a capacity of 85,000 spectators.
- Madrid is home to a number of universities, some of which are the oldest in the world.
- Madrid is world-famous for its old cafés, cozy tapas bars and restaurants that brim with life.