For all the passionate football fans out there, Madrid is the capital city not only to Spain but to football as well. That is probably true, being the home of two world-famous football clubs like Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, clubs with numerous fans across the world. The city is also well known for its number one fan – the inhabitants of Madrid! There’s a local saying in Madrid: “From Madrid to heaven, and in heaven a little window from which to see it.” If you can make requests for windows in heaven…
Well you must sure love Madrid to make that your number one pick! Why do they love it so much? Let’s go through these fun facts about Madrid and find out…
Madrid was founded around 860 A.C.
The origins of the Madrid we know today lie in the village surrounding this ancient Arabic-then-Spanish military defense-post in the Castilian mountains.
Madrid was ruled by the Romans from the 2nd century and was later occupied by the moors, until 1083, when the Spanish ruled again.
The Royal Palace, Madrid
The Madrid Metro was commissioned on the Royal decree in 1916. Construction was finished by 1919 and King Alfonso inaugurated the metro line himself on the 17th of October, 1919. At the time, however, the metro had just one line which ran for less than four kilometres!
On the first day that the Madrid metro was open to the public, a total of 56,220 passengers rode that single line. Today, the Madrid metro has over 302 stations and 13 lines that span nearly 300 kilometres and on average, two million people take the Madrid metro every single day!
In the 1930s during the Spanish civil war, it was the first European city to be bombed from the air.
Madrid became the capital city three times, first in 1561, then 1601, and then more recently in 1938.
Madrid became the European capital city of culture in 1992.
Often escaping notice is the fact that “Madrid” is not only the name of the world-famous capital but also one of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain.
The name Madrid could be over 2,200 years old when it was first mentioned in ancient Arabic records, Mayrit or Magerit, which means “place of abundant water”.
Madrid is where the monarch lives and also where the government meets.
The Spanish king does not reside in the Royal Palace in Madrid.
Even though the Palacio Real is still the official royal residence, the members of the royal family have been living and receiving guests in the petite Palace of Zarzuela since 1962.
The largest and busiest Spanish airport is located in Madrid.
Madrid is the second biggest city in the European Union, after Berlin.
There might be palm trees in Madrid, but the fact is that the voluptuous city of Madrid lies at an astounding 667 meters above sea-level, many places in the north even surpassing the 700 meters mark!
The Warner Brother’s museum is located in Madrid, where everyone can see the characters from their favourite movies.
There are two bullfighting rings in Madrid, Las Ventas, and Vista Alegre.
The largest bullfighting area in Spain is Las Ventas, which can seat almost 25,000 people.
The most famous bull in Madrid goes by the name Carmelo. He was spared from death in the bullfighting ring as he battled both a lion and a tiger in the ring and won!
Madrid’s Prado museum has one of the finest collections of European art in the world.
Prado’s art collection is so vast that only one-seventh of the entire collection is on display at any given time, which means that they have to have one huge storage unit, right? Not only are there over 7,600 paintings in the collection, but there are over 1000 sculptures in the collection too!
Madrid is classed as the fourth richest city in Europe after London, Paris, and Moscow.
The only monument to the devil in the world is located in the Retiro Park.
Madrid has more green space per person than any other city in the world, with 35% of the city made of parks and green space.
Madrid is home to an astonishing amount of students. Not surprisingly, this is since Madrid is one of the unsurpassed hot-spots of university education in Europe.
The University of Salamanca located in Madrid is one of the four oldest educational institutions in Europe.
Real Madrid FC is the world’s most successful football club according to FIFA.
Real Madrid is the second-richest soccer team in entire the world. They have won the European Cup 13 times in total. Real Madrid has won more European Cups than any other team!
Famous people born in Madrid include Rafael Benítez, Fernando Torres, Placido Domingo, Enrique Iglesias and Penelope Cruz.
Madrid is the stage of Netflix’s smash hit Casa de Papel and the largest city in the Iberian Peninsula.
Madrid is the financial centre of Spain.
The Bankia Tower is the tallest building in Madrid and Spain, designed by Sir Norman Foster, who was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours and was honoured in 1999 with a life peerage, becoming Lord Foster of Thames Bank.
The official symbol of Madrid is a bear feasting on berries from the Madroño tree, which stands for Madrid’s growth and represents the possession and importance of wood.
These two emblematic figures represent the official Coat of Arms of Madrid.
The patron saint of Madrid is San Isidro who was married to another saint! Bravo, Madrid on picking quite the cool patron saint!
Madrid was ranked as the second-best place to visit in Europe 2019 by Lonely Planet thanks to the city’s relentless dedication to make it pedestrian and environmentally friendly.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about Madrid that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!