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is madrid a city or state

is madrid a city or state

is madrid a city or state?

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is madrid a city or state?

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 around 6.5 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.

The city spans a total of 604.3 km2. 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.

is madrid a city or state
is madrid a city or state

Madrid is a state

Much like New York in the USA, Madrid is not just a city but also one of the 17 autonomous states of Spain. This was intended to assist the centralised government back in the day when they were set up but today, Madrid has its own administrative powers.

The Community of Madrid is around 8,000 km2 and has a population of over 6.5 million people, making it somewhat of a political powerhouse in Spain.

The city layout

Madrid is a city of contrasting styles, reflecting clearly the different periods in which change and development took place. The old centre, a maze of small streets around a few squares in the vicinity of the imposing Plaza Mayor, contrasts with the stately Neoclassical buildings and grand boulevards created by the most eminent architects of their day. Modern office buildings in the centre and swaths of apartment blocks around the outskirts attest to the styles and economic realities of present-day development.

Much of Madrid gives the impression of being cramped. When Madrid was first made the capital, the king obliged the city’s inhabitants to let a floor of their houses to ambassadors and visiting dignitaries, which prompted many people to build structures with only one floor or sometimes (in the so-called casas a la malicia, or “spite houses”) with two floors but with a facade giving the impression of only one.

Subsequent development of the city generated an enormous demand for land, particularly with the extensive construction of public buildings and convents. The last of Madrid’s four sets of city walls was built in 1625 and was not demolished until 1860 (by which time the population of the city had quadrupled).

The situation was not alleviated even when Napoleon’s brother Joseph Bonaparte, who briefly interrupted the Bourbon line of kings, demolished the convents to create more open space. Joseph’s nickname El Rey Plazuelas (“King of the Small Plazas”)—one of the few complimentary ones he was given—derived from the squares he created. They did little to appease the ecclesiastical authorities, whose alienation contributed to his downfall. One of the squares, the Plaza de Oriente, facing the palace of the same name, was cleared of 56 houses, a library, a church, and several convents.

is madrid a city or state
is madrid a city or state

Madrid as the Capital of Spain

The Government’s headquarters, the Cortes and the official residence of the Kings of Spain are all located in Madrid.

In financial terms, Madrid houses the headquarters of numerous international and national companies. The capital is also a haven of culture, with world-famous museums such as the Prado Museum and the Reina Sofía Museum.

Madrid has been the capital of Spain since mid-sixteenth century, when Philip II transferred the capital from Toledo to Madrid. During five years, it was moved to Valladolid (1601 to 1606) and then returned to Madrid.

Madrid’s inhabitants

Madrid’s inhabitants are called “Madrileños” or “Matritense” (in English Madrileans). In the past, the city’s residents were also called “Gatos” (cats). This popular nickname dates back to medieval times when the city was conquered by Alfonso VI. To get over the walls, the soldiers had to climb like cats and since then have been given this name.

Madrid means water

Although the city of Madrid has only been around for around 1,200 years, the term “Madrid” has been around for a lot longer. The Arabic influence we discussed earlier is again at play and it is thought that the settlers had referred to “Mayrit” or “Magerit”, which could be translated to mean “place of abundant water”.

Some oppose this theory though and think that the Romans had named the city “Matrice” around 2,200 years ago. We like either of these theories and one thing is for sure, the term and its derivatives have been around for some time and make the city’s history quite fascinating.


The village experienced a big development as a consequence of the establishment of the new capital of the Spanish Empire in Madrid. The administrative functions that it held since then,

as well as the centralist character of the government found by the house of Bourbon (“Casa de Borbón” in Spanish) triggered the development of the artisan activity, that turned into industrial since the middle of the 19th century, having its major expansion during the 20th century, especially after the Spanish Civil War.

The economy of the city was then centered on diverse sectors such as those related to motor vehicles, aircraft, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, processed food, printed materials,

and leather goods. Besides its many manufacturing industries. Two facts contributed to this industrial development: the encouragement given by the government and the fact of being

the capital city of the country, which made the city the main communications centre, banking headquarters, etc.

Despite of the current tendency of moving the production centers to industrial parks located in the outskirts of the metropolitan area, the city of Madrid still is the second most important industrial centre in the country, only exceeded by Barcelona. During the last few years, Madrid has experienced a very significant growth in its tertiary activities.


Then, to the traditional administrative functions (Madrid houses the central Administration of the State) and financial (Madrid is the headquarter of a high amount of companies that execute their activities all over the country and that receives half of the whole national financial capital) now we can also add others such us: the ring structure of the roads and trains system and the significance of the Barajas Airport. Moreover, Madrid is also developing a new series of activities with a touristic,

ludic and cultural character. The appointment of Madrid as European City of Culture in 1992 was a very important milestone in this process, encourages both by public and private iniciatives.

is madrid a city or state
is madrid a city or state

Studying in Madrid

Offerings of the universities in Madrid cover the whole range of degrees: Bachelor’s degree,

postgraduate Master and PhD programmes, and double majors, professional development courses and Erasmus programmes.

Most courses are taught in Spanish,

especially for the Bachelor programmes and candidates should prove a high level of Spanish proficiency. The DELE exam certificate is the most common Spanish test accepted by the

higher educational institutions.

International students who don’t meet the requirements for university entrance can enrol in several foundation degree programmes in order to get used to university level expectations.

Choose between the following study programmes: arts,

languages, philosophy, musicology, software engineering, video games development, medicine, health sciences, food science, education, media,

economics, business, pharmacy, marketing, human resources or follow a double major such as: law-business administration, political sciences-philosophy and others.

For the online (distance) learning programmes, subject areas cover: management and business, financial analysis, journalism, libraries and documentary heritage,

project management, study and treatment of pain, international accounting, systems engineering.

International atmosphere in Madrid

Madrid is one of the most popular touristic destinations, but also,

due to a high quality of life, a significant number of the population belongs to ethnic minorities, the largest ones include: Ecuadorian,

Romanian, Bolivian, Peruvian, Chinese, Moroccan and Brazilian.

Considered the major financial centre of Southern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula,

Madrid houses the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and major international regulators of Spanish: the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE),

the Cervantes Institute and the Foundation of Urgent Spanish (Fundéu BBVA).

Weather Madrid

Madrid has mild to cold winters and warm to sometimes hot summers. During winter there are occasional snowfalls and average temperatures of 9 – 10 °C (49-50 °F).Minimum

temperatures can go sometimes below freezing. Average temperatures in summer range from 32 to 33 °C (90 to 91 °F) depending on location, with rare rainfalls,

mostly taking the form of about two showers and/or thunderstorms a month. Precipitation occurs mostly in the autumn and spring.

is madrid a city or state
is madrid a city or state

The Spanish King doesn’t live in the Royal Palace

Palacio Real (Royal Palace) may be the official royal residence,

but the King of Spain hasn’t resided in this sumptuous edifice since 1967. He lives on the western outskirts of Madrid, in a more modest place named the Palace of Zarzuela. The official Royal Palace is only used for state ceremonies.

Madrid hosts the oldest working restaurant in the world

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest working restaurant in the world is Sobrino de Botín. Founded in 1725, it’s on Calle Cuchilleros, in the centre of Madrid. The restaurant is not only famous for its long existence. Through the years, it has won many awards for the quality of its traditional madrileño cuisine.

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