City Spotlight: Madrid, Spain




Madrid is the capital of Spain and one of the largest cities in the European Union.  The city has a population of around 3.2 million people.




Madrid has been inhabited since the Stone Age.  However, the development of it as a city started in the 1560s when King Philip II moved his court there and made Madrid the capital city of his vast empire.




The emblem of the city is a bear eating strawberries from a tree.  Some think the original name of the city was “Ursaria”(“land of bears” in Latin) because of all the bears in nearby forests.  No matter the bear and the strawberry tree has been the emblem of the city since the Middle Ages.




Today it is the political, economic, and cultural center of Spain.




It is also the center of the Spanish Empire with the Royal Palace, enormous cathedrals, and other buildings used by the Spanish Monarchy located there.




It is also home to two famous football (soccer) clubs Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid.




The city has an active nightlife and some of the largest numbers of bars per capita of any European city.  Madrileños stay up late well into the night and early mornings.




The Spanish capital has one of the best public transportation networks in the world.  It is the second largest metro network in Europe.  Ticket machines are multilingual and announcements are made in Spanish and English.




The capital also has over 60 museums.




And is known for being very clean and having several beautiful parks and gardens.




Madrid is a beautiful city with lots to see and do.  With the easy transportation and the active night-life, it is a great place to practice your Spanish and make some new friends.


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Unlock your Spanish voice!

Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.