August 24th, 2014

Madrid – a city with a special character

The capital of Spain, unlike other European and world capitals does not have his business card. In Paris – the Eiffel Tower, London – Big Ben, in Moscow – Saint Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin, and in Madrid, Madrid itself. Thus in his descriptions often include the word "most". Most "green" city in the world, the youngest capital of Europe, the most high, etc. The city is known for its active nightlife – night work here even museums.


People who are unfamiliar with the history, it may seem that Madrid has always been the capital of Spain. Meanwhile, he became the first city in the country relatively recently, especially by historical standards. If Toledo was brilliant to grow, he would never have yielded the palm to Madrid. But perhaps the thing that Philip II wanted to create a new symbol, around which could unite the country. After uprisings "komuneros" strongly shook the State, Toledo, was the center of this movement, for such purposes did not fit. What actually caused – is anyone's guess. Whatever it was, in 1561 already referred to King Philip, moved the capital 71 miles north – in Madrid.

As this is probably happening everywhere, court historians and chroniclers immediately began to withdraw the city's history almost from the Tower of Babel. Counted nearly 4,000 years, and perhaps even something was wrong. People certainly have long chosen these places, painfully suitable location and climate. This is confirmed by official archeology, but the emergence of the city can say since the end of the IX century. It is about 852-856 years. Arabian Prince Mohammed I, son of the Emir Abdarrahman II, founded on the site of the present Royal Palace Fortress.

If According to legend, the Madrid owes its appearance to the ancient hero Okniyu son Tiberina and the prophetess Manto. Exiled stepbrothers from the peninsula, he suddenly found himself on the banks of the Manzanares River paradise. Okny here and stayed, founding a settlement, which was named in honor of his mother Mantua. Hence, they say, and the name. Official same etymology tend either to Celtic "Mugger" (big bridge), because fortress, founded by Mohammed I, called "Maher", or to the Visigoth "Matrisa" (mother of water). Surprisingly, in Arabic "mahr" means a water source, and "Maher" – complete source waters. Underground formations really play a big role in supplying the city with water. When in 1083 the fortress was conquered by the Arabs, its name was written in Spanish Magerit, and later transformed into Madrid.

Some time Arabs tried to recapture what they considered his by right, but all their attempts were unsuccessful. Participation fortress in the Reconquista was so active that in 1118 it was granted city status (with full privileges). Strategically located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, rich forests, made this place a favorite hunting ground of the Castilian kings. This led to the fact that in 1202 King Alfonso VIII Madrid were granted royal privileges (free status of the municipality). Later, in 1301, the Castilians moved from entertainment to business, and were held in the meeting of the Cortes (parliament of the kingdom). In 1309 Alfonso XI was formed the first city council, and in 1390 was crowned here Enrique III. Exempt from duties, Madrid began to grow gradually, and in the XV century. approved the first plan for the city. Probably lucky as Emperor Charles V not only lived here often, but gave the city emblem crown.

After transfer to Madrid and the state capital of the empire, the city developed rapidly just. By 1625, its population has grown five-fold to 100 thousand people. And this despite the fact that from 1600 to 1605 the capital moved to Valladolid. Then King Philip IV issued a decree on the construction of a new city wall, which lasted until 1868.

Although during the Hapsburg Madrid became truly developed and a large center, the golden age of the city came under the Bourbons yet. It was during this dynasty final metamorphosis occurred that shaped the modern image of the city. Start conversion put Carlos III, the most prominent of Madrid alkadov, it is sometimes so called "King of Mayor." When it was adopted the law on the planned building, a new magnificent Royal Palace and the Prado Museum, the famous avenue laid Paseo las acacias and the Paseo del Prado Affairs, created the Royal Library and the Royal Academy. Was not forgotten and infrastructure – built royal factories for the production of carpets, glass and porcelain.

At the beginning of the XIX century. Europe is reeling from the French expansion. Did not escape this fate and Spain. War and ten years of occupation under the rule of Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte not been for her in vain. Look Madrid changed. In this