SPAIN - AREA INFORMATION - MADRID
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. It is
also the third most populous city (within city limits) in
the European Union after London and Berlin, and the third
most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris
and London. Its economic and political importance, as well
as its major cultural influence, ranks Madrid as one of
the major global cities of the world.
The city is located on the river Manzanares in the centre
of the country, between the autonomous communities of
Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha. Due to its
economic output, standard of living, and market size,
Madrid is considered one of the major financial centres of
the Iberian Peninsula, together with Barcelona and Lisbon.
As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and
residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the
political centre of Spain.
As the capital of Spain, Madrid is a city of great
cultural and political importance. 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 huge Royal Palace of Madrid; the
Theatre Real (Royal theatre) with its restored 1850 Opera
House; the Buena Retiro park, founded in 1631; the
imposing 19th-century National Library building (founded
in 1712) containing some of Spain's historical archives;
an archaeological museum of international reputation; and
three superb art museums:
Prado Museum, which hosts one of the finest art
collections in the world, the Museo National Centro de
Arte Reina Sofía, a museum of modern art, and the
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, housed in the renovated
The population of the city was 3.5 million (December
2005), while the estimated urban area population was 5.5
million. The entire population of the Madrid metropolitan
area (urban area and suburbs) is calculated to be 5.84
million. The city spans a total of 607 square kilometres
(234 sq mi).
Following the restoration of democracy in 1975 and Spain's
integration into the European Union, Madrid has played an
increasing role in European finances, marking the city as
one of the most important European metropolises. The
residents of Madrid are called Madrileños, and the current
mayor is Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, of the conservative
There are several theories regarding the origin of the
name, "Madrid". Madrid was founded by Ocno Bianor (son of
King Tirenio of Tuscany and Mantua) and was named "Metragirta"
or "Mantua Carpetana". Others contend that the original
name of the city was "Ursa" ("bear" in Latin), due to the
high number of these animals that were found in the
adjacent forests, which, together with the Madrone tree ("madroño"
in Spanish), have been the emblem of the city from the
Nevertheless, it is now commonly believed that the origin
of the current name of the city comes from the 2nd Century
B.C., when the Roman Empire established a settlement on
the banks of Manzanares River. The name of this first
village was "Matrice" (a reference to the river that
crossed the settlement).
Following the invasions of the Sueves, Vandals and Alans
during the fifth Century A.D., the Roman Empire could not
defend its territories on the Iberian Peninsula, and were
therefore overrun by the Visigoths. The barbarian tribes
subsequently took control of "Matrice".
In the 7th Century the Islamic conquest of the Iberian
Peninsula saw the name changed to "Mayrit", from the
Arabic term "Mayra" (referencing water as a "mother" or "source
of life") and the Ibero-Roman suffix "it" that means "place".
The modern "Madrid" evolved from the Mozarabic "Matrit",
which is still in the Madrilenian gentilic.
oversikt over sidene.com eller
AiCOM og sidene, Døsserødveien 25, 3118 Tønsberg
Produsert med Copyright av AiCOM