The city

The city


The capital of Spain -often referred to as Villa y Corte- Madrid is the largest city in the country and the second largest in the European Union, with a population of more than 3 million inhabitants (and more than 6 million in the metropolitan area).

The Bear and the Strawberry Tree

Madrid has been called the "villa del oso y del madroño(the town of the bear and the strawberry tree) since the mid 13thcentury. Tradition says that a dispute between the town council and the clergy regarding rights to certain forests and pastures was resolved by agreeing that the trees belonged to the town and the pastures, to the church. In commemoration of the pact, the town adopted the bear and the strawberry tree for its emblem, while the church adopted a grazing bear.

Madrid, the Capital of Spain

As the capital of Spain, Madrid is the seat of governmentand the Parliament, and the official residence of the Spanish monarch.

Economically speaking, the city is also home to the head offices of many national and international corporations. Some of its most well-known cultural landmarks are the Prado Museumand the Reina Sofia Museum.

Madrid has been the capital of Spain since the mid-16thcentury, in times of Philip II. For five years, between 1601 and 1606, Valladolidoccupied this position.

The People of Madrid

The people of Madrid are referred to as madrileñosormatritenses. Historically, residents of Madrid are also called gatos. According to one theory, during the siege of the city by Alfonso VI, his troops climbed over the wall like cats.

"On water I was built, my walls are made of fire"

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