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Madrid

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. 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, Paris. 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. As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political centre of Spain. The current mayor is Ana Botella from the People’s Party (PP).

Madrid urban agglomeration has the 3rd 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. 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 fourth-most touristic of the continent, and is the 10th most livable city in the world according to Monocle magazine, in its 2010 index. 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, 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; 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.

In the years the Cibeles Palace and Fountain have become the monument symbol of the city.

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, 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.

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.

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.

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%).

Historically, Madrid’s population was noted to be strictly Catholic, something that has often left an imprint on the identity of the city. However, Madrid has over the years become one of the least religious cities in the Western world, with several studies suggesting that 40% of the Madrid metropolitan area population identified themselves as atheist.

Districts of Madrid

Madrid is administratively divided into 21 districts, which are further subdivided into 128 wards (barrios)

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Madrid metropolitan area

Submetropolitan area
Area
(km²)
Population
(pop.)
Density
(pop./km²)
Madrid – Majadahonda 996.1 3,580,828 3,595.0
Móstoles – Alcorcón 315.1 430,349 1,365.6
Fuenlabrada – Leganés – Getafe – Parla – Pinto –Valdemoro 931.7 822,806 883.1
Alcobendas 266.4 205,905 772.9
Arganda del Rey – Rivas-Vaciamadrid 343.6 115,344 335.7
Alcalá de Henares – Torrejón de Ardoz 514.6 360,380 700.3
Colmenar Viejo – Tres Cantos 419.1 104,650 249.7
Collado Villalba 823.1 222,769 270.6
Madrid metropolitan area 4,609.7 5,843,031 1,267.6

Sport

Madrid is home to La Liga football club Real Madrid, who play their home games at the Santiago Bernabéu. Their supporters are referred to as Madridistas or Merengues (Merengues). Real Madrid is one of the most prestigious football clubs in the world (FIFA selected Real Madrid the best team of the 20th century), having won a record 9 European Cups. Their hometown rivals, Atlético Madrid, are also well supported in the city. The players (and supporters) are referred to as Colchoneros (The Mattress Makers), in reference to the team’s red and white jersey colours, which were determined by mattress material being the cheapest at the time of the club’s formation. In 1982, Madrid hosted the FIFA World Cup Final. Along with Barcelona, Glasgow and Lisbon, Madrid is one of only four cities in Europe to contain two UEFA 5-star stadia: Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu and Atlético Madrid’s Vicente Calderón both meet the said criteria. Rayo Vallecano and Getafe CF are two further teams from the Madrid area playing currently in La Liga.

Some of Spain’s top footballers are Madrileños (born in Madrid), including Real Madrid former player Emilio Butragueño and co (La Quinta del Buitre, “The Vulture’s Quint”), Premier League’s Pepe Reina, Fernando Torres and Real Madrid veterans Raúl González, Guti Hernandez and Iker Casillas.

Madrid boasts a prominent place in Spanish basketball, with two clubs in the country’s top-level Liga ACB. Real Madrid’s basketball section has won 30 Spanish League championships, 22 Spanish Cup championships, 8 Euroleague Championships, 4 Saporta Cups, 4 Intercontinental Cups and have won 2 Triple Crowns. Madrid’s other professional basketball club is Estudiantes that have won 3 Spanish Cup championships.

Madrid hosts the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open. The tournament is classified as an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event on the Association of Tennis Professionals tour, and a Premier Mandatory event on the Women’s Tennis Association tour. Caja Mágica (The Magic Box, and also known as the Manzanares Park Tennis Centre) is a tennis structure located at Manzanares Park, used for the Madrid Masters tournament, Caja Mágica is also home to the Spanish F1 team HRT F1 Team.

The city is also host to the Circuito Permanente Del Jarama, a motorsport race circuit.

Historically, the city serves as the final stage of the Vuelta a España cycling event, in the same way Paris serves as the conclusive stage of the Tour de France.

Skiing is possible in the nearby mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama, where the ski resorts of Valdesqui and Navacerrada are located.

In the past, Madrid has bid to host the 1972, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics, which were awarded to Munich, London, and Rio de Janeiro respectively. In July 2011 Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon announced Madrid’s plans to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The city has two major annual road running events – the Madrid Marathon and the San Silvestre Vallecana 10 km (6 mi) run – tens of thousands of runners take part in these races each year. As reported by Olympic news outlet Around the Rings.

Club League Sport Venue Established Capacity
Real Madrid C.F. La Liga Football Santiago Bernabéu 1902 85,454
Atlético Madrid La Liga Football Vicente Calderón 1903 54,851
Rayo Vallecano La Liga Football Estadio de Vallecas 1924 15,500
Real Madrid Castilla Segunda División Football Alfredo di Stéfano 1930 6,000
Real Madrid Baloncesto ACB Basketball Palacio de Deportes de Madrid 1932 16,000
CB Estudiantes ACB Basketball Palacio de Deportes de Madrid 1948 16,000
BM Atlético Madrid ASOBAL Handball Palacio Vistalegre 2011 15,000

Madrid Pictures

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