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The city of Madrid

City of Madrid - Visit Madrid | don Quijote

Reasons to study Spanish in Madrid:

THE CITY:

CULTURAL/RECREATIONAL:

More information about the city of Madrid

The city of Madrid, located in the heart of the Spanish Peninsula and right in the center of the Castilian plain 646 meters above sea level, has a population of over three million. A cosmopolitan city, a business center, headquarters for the Public Administration, Government, Spanish Parliament and the home of the Spanish Royal Family, Madrid also plays a major role in both the banking and industrial sectors. Most of its industry is located in the Southern fringe of the city, where important textile, food and metal working factories are clustered. Madrid is characterized by intense cultural and artistic activity and a very active and legendary nightlife.

Cosmopolitan Madrid combines the very best features of any European city with a fully interactive atmosphere: huge green areas and a continuous flow of architectural structures, business people and students. The nightlife is particularly lively with much taking place in its thousands of traditional bars. Madrid is well worth visiting - and getting lost in - if you're looking to enjoy a unique experience.

The grand metropolis of Madrid can trace its origins to the times of Arab Emir Mohamed I (852-886), who ordered the construction of a fortress, on the left bank of the Manzanares River. Later it became the subject of a dispute between the Christians and Arabs until it was conquered by Alonso VI in the 11th century. At the end of the 17th century, a defensive wall was built for the protection of the new outlying areas, tracing the roads of Segovia, Toledo and Valencia. During the 18th century, the great "arteries" of the city, such as the Paseo del Prado and Paseo las Acacias were designated under the reign of Carlos III.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Joseph Bonaparte undertook the reform of the Puerta del Sol and vicinity. The commercial street known as the Gran Ví­a was built as an east-west avenue at the start of the century. In the 1950's the north-south boulevard called Paseo de la Castellana was extended and modern buildings were erected, housing the major financial institutions. Remains of the distant past are mainly the Baroque and neoclassical structures of the 17th and 18th centuries, such as the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and others described later during our guide of the city.

Fiestas and celebrations in Madrid

Madrid honors San Isidro with a fiesta during the second half of May. The celebration consists of typical Madrid folklore with fairs and dances that are organized in the meadows of San Isidro. People sing, dance and enjoy themselves next to the Hermitage of their Patron Saint. At the same time, there are performances of ballet and opera as well as traditional bullfights in the Las Ventas bullring.

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