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From top left: The commercial center on Paseo de la Castellana, Alcalá and Gran Vía streets, Palacio de Cibeles, view of Palacio Real and Almudena Cathedral.
From top left: The commercial center on Paseo de la Castellana, Alcalá and Gran Vía streets, Palacio de Cibeles, view of Palacio Real and Almudena Cathedral.
coat of arms Map of Spain
Madrid coat of arms
Madrid (Spain)
Finland road sign 311 (1994-2020) .svg
Basic data
Autonomous Community : MadridMadrid Madrid
Province : Madrid
Comarca : Metropolitana de Madrid
Coordinates 40 ° 25 ′  N , 3 ° 42 ′  W Coordinates: 40 ° 25 ′  N , 3 ° 42 ′  W
Height : 667  msnm
Area : 605.770 km²
Residents : 3,266,126 (Jan. 1, 2019)
Population density : 5,391.69 inhabitants / km²
Postal code : 28001-28080
Municipality number  ( INE ): 28079
Nearest airport : Madrid-Barajas Airport (12 km from the city center)
Official language : Castilian
Mayor : José Luis Martínez-Almeida ( PP )
Website :
Location of the city
Location of the city of Madrid

Madrid ( German [ maˈdʁɪt ], Spanish [ maˈðɾið ]) is the capital of Spain and the autonomous community of Madrid . The Madrid metropolitan area has a population of about seven million inhabitants of the largest cities in Europe. Madrid is (without suburbs) with over 3.2 million inhabitants, after Berlin, the second largest city in the European Union and the largest city in southern Europe .

Madrid has been the geographical, political and cultural center of Spain (see Castile ) and the seat of the Spanish government for centuries . The king, a Catholic archbishop and important administrative and military authorities also reside here . As a commercial and financial center , the city is of national and international importance. There are six public universities in Madrid, as well as various other colleges, theaters, museums and cultural institutions.

The inhabitants of Madrid are called “Madrilenians” ( Spanish madrileños ) or “Madrid”.

Geography and climate

Geographical location

AZCA, Madrid. Snowfall occurs sporadically in winter.

Madrid is located in the center of Spain at 667  msnm , making it the highest capital of the European Union. The town, through which the small river Manzanares flows, is part of the historical Castile landscape and is located in the middle of the Meseta , the Castile plateau. To the northwest of the city rise the mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama , which rise up to 2429 m in the Peñalara . To the east, the Henares valley opens up , where the railways and highways to Saragossa and Barcelona run. About 70 km south, on the Tagus , is the old Castilian capital Toledo , which is now the capital of the autonomous region of Castilla-La Mancha .


Due to its altitude at 667 meters above sea level and the continental climate , the summers in Madrid are hotter and drier, but the winters are significantly colder than in cities on the Mediterranean. The average temperature in January is around 6.1 ° C, in July around 24.2 ° C. It is then usually very dry and hot.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología ;
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Madrid
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 9.7 12.0 15.7 17.5 21.4 26.9 31.2 30.7 26.0 19.0 13.4 10.1 O 19.5
Min. Temperature (° C) 2.6 3.7 5.6 7.2 10.7 15.1 18.4 18.2 15.0 10.2 6.0 3.8 O 9.7
Temperature (° C) 6.2 7.9 10.7 12.4 16.1 21.0 24.8 24.5 20.5 14.6 9.7 7.0 O 14.7
Precipitation ( mm ) 37 35 26th 47 52 25th 15th 10 25th 49 56 56 Σ 433
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 4.8 5.6 6.9 7.7 8.8 10.3 11.6 10.8 8.7 6.4 5.2 4th O 7.6
Rainy days ( d ) 6th 6th 5 7th 8th 4th 2 2 3 6th 6th 7th Σ 62
Humidity ( % ) 78 70 61 58 54 49 40 42 52 66 73 77 O 59.9
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


The name of Madrid

Although Madrid has existed since the 9th century at the latest, as a pre-Moorish settlement may already have existed there, hardly any traces have survived from this time. The first evidence of the name Madrid comes from Arabic sources ( Ibn Ḥayyān al-Qurṭubī , Muqtabis ; al-Ḥimyarī, Kitab ar-rawd al Mi'tar ) and reads Majrit  /مجريط / Maǧrīṭ . Some authors have tried to derive this name etymologically , partly from Arabic , partly, assuming a pre-existing settlement from the Visigothic period , from early Romanesque , possibly also from Romance Andalusí . As an Arabic etymon , the word madschra  /مَجْرى / maǧrā , which can mean canal , water pipe or river bed . The Latin etymon is matricem ( acc . Of matrix , 'womb'), which is translated here as 'source (of a brook)'. In its Mozarabic form, this was matrič . Since both Etyma refer to water and sound similar, the thought has also been raised that it could be a Romanesque-Arabic hybrid formation.

Madrid as part of al-Andalus

After 854, a Moorish castle ( alcázar ) was built under the Emir Muhammad (852 to 886 ) on the site of today's Madrid Royal Palace . The astronomer Maslama ibn Aḥmad al-Maǧrīṭī , who died in Cordoba in the early 11th century , was born to his nisba in Madrid. In 1083 Madrid was conquered by the Kingdom of Castile , but was besieged unsuccessfully in 1109 by the Almoravid ruler Ali ibn Yusuf . A small part of the city walls, dating from the time of the Arab rule over Spain, still exist next to the cathedral. In 1309, under Fernando IV, the Assembly of Estates ( Cortes ) of the Kingdom of Castile was convened for the first time in Madrid.

On February 21, 2011, the excavation work in the vicinity of the Royal Palace ( Palacio Real ) was completed. No traces of houses from the ninth century had been found. Remains of buildings from the twelfth century are rather the oldest evidence of an urban settlement. The chief archaeologist Esther Andréu deduced from this that Madrid was only founded as a settlement in the Christian era and had previously only been a Moorish military base. This was rejected by another party with reference to several wells, silos and a sewer system from the Umayyad period.

The Madrid of the Habsburgs and Bourbons: capital of Spain

In 1561 Philip II moved the royal court from Valladolid to Madrid, which started the city's rise. It actually became the capital of Spain, which apart from a small interruption from 1601 to 1606 (Valladolid) it is to this day. The part of Madrid that was built under the Spanish Habsburgs is still called “ El Madrid de los Austrias ” (The Madrid of the Habsburgs). During this time the Puerta del Sol , the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales , the Palacio de Uceda , the Plaza de la Villa , the Plaza Mayor and the Colegiata de San Isidro were built.

In 1701 the War of the Spanish Succession broke out, which in 1706 led to the Anglo-Portuguese occupation of the city. It ended in 1714 when the Bourbons took over the Spanish throne . Today's Royal Palace was built under their rule . Especially in the reign of Charles III. , who is popularly known as the “best mayor of Madrid”, the city's public infrastructure (streets, squares, parks, water supply, etc.) was modernized and numerous public buildings were built.

19th century during the War of Independence and after the Bourbon Restoration

Francisco de Goya : uprising of May 2, 1808
Historical map (around 1888)

From 1808 to 1813 Madrid was occupied by the French, with Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte being made king. The occupiers tore down monasteries and entire districts to make room. The uprising of May 2, 1808 , which was bloodily suppressed, provoked further upheavals throughout the country. In Madrid, May 2 is therefore a city holiday today. Pepe Botella or El Rey Plazuela , as Joseph was ridiculed for his alcoholism and the demolition of monasteries and churches in favor of open spaces, fled Madrid in 1812.

The three Carlist Wars were fought from 1833 to 1876 . A cholera epidemic also raged in Madrid. In 1873 the first republic was proclaimed by the liberal politician and writer Emilio Castelar .

20th Century: Civil War, Dictatorship and Transición

Francisco Franco , dictator of Spain from 1936/39 to 1975, had Madrid rebuilt and remodeled in part by forced labor after the end of the civil war

In 1923 the military dictatorship followed under General Miguel Primo de Rivera . On April 14, 1931, the Second Republic was proclaimed in Madrid . In the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939 Madrid was republican to the end, until March 28, and suffered heavy damage from German and Italian bombings ( siege of Madrid ). The victory at Manzanares during the siege of Madrid was also important for the will of the Republican Madrilenians to persevere.

After the putschists under Generalissimo Francisco Franco , who from 1940 officially resided in the royal and private palace El Pardo , had prevailed, his Francoist dictatorship shaped the city architecturally, economically and demographically until 1975. After the destruction caused by the siege during the civil war, it was rebuilt according to Francon's plans and the remodeling of the Second Republic fought by Franco , such as the Nuevos Ministerios , which was not completed by the civil war , was completed. After the Plan de Estabilización 1959, more and more skyscrapers grew in height, a trend that lasted until the financial crisis in 2007 . Between 1900 and 1980 the city population increased sixfold from around 500,000 to around three million inhabitants. Numerous strikes and student protests took place from 1965 to 1973. Madrid was a center of student resistance against the dictatorship as early as the 1950s.

After Franco's death in 1975 there was a cultural movement in Madrid, the Movida madrileña . Juan Carlos I became king and initiated democratization ( Transición ), which was jeopardized again on February 23, 1981 ( 23-F ) by an attempted coup by some officers of the Guardia Civil and the military. Some of them had already participated in the Operación Galaxia 1978. In 1992 Madrid was “ European City of Culture ”. It was not until 1993 that the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Madrid Santa María la Real de La Almudena was completed.

21st century: a modern European city

On March 11, 2004, 191 people were killed in an Islamist-motivated terrorist attack on four fully occupied local trains and the Atocha train station. The attack cost the bourgeois PP , which wanted to shift the blame on the Basque separatist organization ETA , power and led to an electoral success for the social democratic PSOE . A few days before the election, the government under José María Aznar , as part of the coalition of the willing, did not want to allow speculation to arise about the connection between its decision to participate in the Iraq war and the attacks in Atocha. After the beginning of the global financial crisis , from which Spain was particularly hard hit by the bursting of the real estate bubble in 2007 , a left-wing populist alliance called Podemos emerged from demonstrations against the Rajoy government's austerity measures ( recortes ) , which Manuela Carmena as mayor with one left - brought ecological program into office (2015-2019).


Population development

Population development
of Madrid
date Residents
1897 510.616
1900 540.109
1910 556,958
1920 728.937
1930 863,958
1940 1,096,466
1950 1,527,894
1960 2,177,123
1970 3,120,941
1981 3,158,818
1991 2,909,792
2011 3,198,645
2015 3,141,991

The population has grown continuously since Madrid was declared the capital of Spain in the 16th century and reached its present level in the 1970s with over 3.1 million inhabitants.

Politics and administration


Distritos de Madrid
The kilometer zero competes with the real geographic center in the suburb of Getafe

Madrid is divided into 21 districts ( distritos ), which in turn are divided into different districts ( barrios ):

  1. Centro : Palacio, Embajadores, Cortes, Justicia, Universidad, Sol.
  2. Arganzuela : Paseo Imperial, Acacias, Chopera, Legazpi, Delicias, Palos de Moguer, Atocha.
  3. Retiro : Pacífico, Adelfas, Estrella, Ibiza, Jerónimos, Niño Jesús.
  4. Salamanca : Recoletos, Goya, Fuente del Berro, Guindalera, Lista, Castellana.
  5. Chamartín : El Viso, Prosperidad, Ciudad Jardín, Hispanoamérica, Nueva España, Pza. Castilla.
  6. Tetuán : Bellas Vistas, Cuatro Caminos, Castillejos, Almenara , Valdeacederas, Berruguete.
  7. Chamberí : Gaztambide, Arapiles, Trafalgar, Almagro, Vallehermoso, Ríos Rosas.
  8. Fuencarral-El Pardo : El Pardo, Fuentelarreina, Peñagrande, Barrio del Pilar, La Paz, Valverde, Mirasierra, El Goloso.
  9. Moncloa-Aravaca : Casa de Campo, Argüelles , Ciudad Universitaria, Valdezarza, Valdemarín, El Plantío, Aravaca.
  10. Latina : Los Cármenes, Puerta del Ángel, Lucero, Aluche, Las Águilas, Campamento, Cuatro Vientos.
  11. Carabanchel : Comillas, Opañel, San Isidro, Vista Alegre, Puerta Bonita, Buenavista, Abrantes.
  12. Usera : Orcasitas, Orcasur, San Fermín, Almendrales, Moscardó, Zofio, Pradolongo.
  13. Puente de Vallecas : Entrevías, San Diego, Palomeras Bajas, Palomeras Sureste, Portazgo, Numancia.
  14. Moratalaz : Pavones, Horcajo, Marroquina, Media Legua, Fontarrón, Vinateros.
  15. Ciudad Lineal : Ventas, Pueblo Nuevo, Quintana, La Concepción, San Pascual, San Juan Bautista, Colina, Atalaya, Costillares.
  16. Hortaleza : Palomas, Valdefuentes, Canillejas, Pinar del Rey, Apóstol Santiago, La Piovera.
  17. Villaverde : San Andrés, San Cristóbal, Butarque, Los Rosales, Los Ángeles (Villaverde).
  18. Villa de Vallecas : Casco Histórico de Vallecas, Santa Eugenia.
  19. Vicálvaro : Casco Histórico de Vicálvaro, Ambroz.
  20. San Blas : Simancas, Hellín, Amposta, Arcos, Rosas, Rejas, Canillejas, Salvador.
  21. Barajas : Alameda de Osuna , Aeropuerto , Casco Histórico de Barajas, Timón, Corralejos.

coat of arms

The coat of arms of Madrid as a monument in the Plaza de la Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol, main facade of the Casa de Correos

Description: In the silver field , which is covered by a blue border with seven silver six-pointed stars , stands a strawberry tree with a green crown of leaves and red fruits, on which a black bear stands up on a green shield base .

The golden crown rests above the coat of arms .

The coat of arms of the city of Madrid shows a brown bear ( oso pardo ), who stretches the city name pseudoetymologically against a strawberry tree . This is called madr oño in Spanish . It is therefore a speaking coat of arms .


City council

Madrid city council election 2019
Bottom line
Gains and losses
compared to 2015
 % p
Distribution of seats in the Madrid City Council
19th 8th 11 15th 4th 
A total of 57 seats
  • ḾM : 19
  • PSOE : Aug.
  • Cs : 11
  • PP : 15
  • VOX : 4th

Culture and sights


Plaza Mayor
  • The Plaza Mayor was laid out as a market square in the 15th century and is still the liveliest square in the city. It is located in the center of the old town and is a rectangular, uniformly closed, car-free square (similar to the square of the same name in Salamanca ). Concerts are often held here.
  • Plaza de la Puerta del Sol , the center of the city and all of Spain: this is where Kilómetro Cero is located , the traditional starting point of the six radial national roads.
  • The park-like, semicircular Plaza Oriente between the Opera and the Palacio Real.
  • Plaza de Cibeles : here are three of Madrid's greatest attractions in one square: the Cybelebrunnen, the Palacio de Comunicaciones and the Banco de España. This space is used by the supporters and the team of the Real Madrid football club to celebrate championships.
  • Plaza de España at the western end of Gran Vía , a large, 1920s- style square with early high-rise architecture.
  • Plaza de Colón : centrally located, start of the Paseo de la Castellana .
  • Plaza de Lavapiés , the central point of the Lavapiés district of the same name, is constantly undergoing renovation work, be it to apply for the Olympic Games or the like.
  • Plaza de Castilla : is in the north of Madrid in the Chamartín district . The Torres KIO are located here .


On the Paseo del Prado, in the so-called museum triangle, three of the most important museums in the world are within walking distance of a few hundred meters: Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and Museo de Arte Thyssen-Bornemisza


  • Calle de Alcalá. This boulevard starts at the Puerta del Sol and leads towards Alcalá de Henares . Between Sol and Plaza de Cibeles there are numerous representative Wilhelminian-style buildings, including a. Corporate headquarters of major banks.
  • Paseo del Prado. This very wide street leads from Atocha train station to Plaza de Cibeles. Large hotels and the Prado Museum are located here .
  • Paseo de la Castellana . The most important road axis in Madrid begins at the Plaza de Colón and runs around 5.42 kilometers north to the inner ring of the motorway. The street is largely divided by park-like avenues. In some places you can comfortably enjoy a cafe con leche in the middle of 10 busy car lanes . In the north it represents modern Madrid with its high-rise architecture that can be seen from afar.
  • Gran Vía . There are a number of large cinemas, the headquarters of the Spanish telephone company Telefónica and fashion stores.
  • Calle Goya
  • Calle Huertas. The “writers' quarter” in the center is named after her, in which the most important writers (including Cervantes , Lope de Vega , Quevedo , Góngora ) of Spanish literature in a small space and z. Some lived and worked in the same period of time ("The Golden Century"). As one of the few pedestrian zones in the city, the street now functions as a nightlife center.


Sports history

In 1982 Italy won the soccer world championship in Madrid in the final against Germany . In 2005, Madrid failed to bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics . The renewed application for the 2016 Summer Olympics failed in 2009 only in the last round of the selection process (against Rio de Janeiro ).

Sights and cities in the surrounding area

Economy and Infrastructure

According to a study from 2014, the Greater Madrid area has a gross domestic product of 262.3 billion US dollars (PAC). In the ranking of the economically strongest metropolitan regions worldwide, he came 42nd.

Route map of the metro in Madrid


The Madrid region is the leading economic and industrial location in Spain and with 17.7% generates the highest share of the Spanish gross national product. The focus is on the service sector, which generates over 78% of the regional GDP. Due to its excellent geographical location in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula, industries from the aircraft, vehicle, textile, chemical and food industries have settled there. A large proportion of the banks and insurance groups established in Spain are based in Madrid. The most important and only internationally significant stock exchange in Spain is located there. Numerous branches of foreign groups have their headquarters and production facilities in Madrid ( Siemens , Bosch , Software AG , Microsoft , Hewlett-Packard , IBM , Porsche , L'Oréal etc.)

In a ranking of the most important financial centers worldwide, Madrid came in 41st place (as of 2018).


Madrid is Spain's largest transport and rail hub with the most important passenger stations Atocha and Chamartín . The Madrid metro network is one of the largest in the world. The metro Ligero tram runs in less densely populated parts of the city . The suburbs are accessed with the Cercanías suburban railway system. Madrid's international airport, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas , is located in the northeast of the city and can be reached by metro. It is the fourth largest airport in Europe and an important hub for flights to Latin America .

Madrid-Barajas, Airport Terminal T4

The Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) is with 57.8 million passengers (as of 2018) one of the largest in Europe. It has four runways (4400, 4100, 3500, 3500 m). The latter two lines are "new construction lines", the first line is the longest in Europe. The new terminal (T4) was opened in 2006 and was given its own metro station in 2007 due to the distance to the rest of the airport. All terminals (T1, T2, T3, T4) can be reached by metro line 8.

In November 2008, Ciudad Real Airport was the first private airport in Spain to open for relief. It was closed again in November 2011 due to a lack of air traffic and is considered one of the largest investment ruins in Spain.


The numerous educational institutions include the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM, opened in Alcalá de Henares in 1508 , moved to Madrid in 1836) as well as the Comillas University (1892), the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM, 1971), Universidad Autónoma (UAM, 1968), the University of Carlos III (UC3M, 1989) and the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (1996). The Spanish distance learning university UNED ( Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia ) has its headquarters in Madrid. Also here are u. a. the Royal Spanish Academy and the Academies of Fine Arts, Natural Sciences and Languages. See also: List of Universities in Madrid

Town twinning

As of 2008


other topics

Web links

Wiktionary: Madrid  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Commons : Madrid  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Madrid  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. Cifras oficiales de población resultantes de la revisión del Padrón municipal a 1 de enero . Population statistics from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (population update).
  2. Excavations: Madrid is 300 years younger than assumed. In: Spiegel Online . February 21, 2011, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  4. National Statistics Agency. Instituto National de Estatistica (INE), 2015, accessed August 4, 2016 .
  5. ^ Alan Berube, Jesus Leal Trujillo, Tao Ran, and Joseph Parilla: Global Metro Monitor . In: Brookings . January 22, 2015 ( [accessed July 19, 2018]).
  6. The Global Financial Centers Index 23. (PDF) Archived from the original on March 27, 2018 ; accessed on July 13, 2018 .
  7. Hermanamientus. City of Madrid, accessed October 29, 2008 (Spanish).