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For other uses of the term, see Madrid (disambiguation) .
Municipality , city , capital of Spain
and of the Community of Madrid

From left to right and from top to bottom: the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral , the Plaza Mayor , Terminal 4 of the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport , the Puerta de Alcalá , the statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree , the Museum of Prado , the Cuatro Torres Business Area , the Cibeles Palace and Gran Vía street .
Madrid ubicada en EspañaMadridMadrid
Location of Madrid in Spain.
Madrid ubicada en Comunidad de MadridMadridMadrid
Location of Madrid in Community of Madrid.
MapaWikimedia | © OpenStreetMap
Interactive map — Madrid and its municipal area
Nickname : The Capital, 1​ La Villa, 2​ La Villa y Corte, 3​ Los Madriles. 4
Motto : «I went on built water, my walls of fire are. This is my insignia and coat of arms» 5
Country Spain
• Comm. autonomous Madrid's community
• Province Madrid
• Shire Metropolitan of Madrid
• Judicial party Madrid
Location 40°25′01″N 3°42′12″W
• Altitude 657 6​ m
(min: 543 7 ​, max: 846 7 ​)
Surface 604,45 km²
Foundation 9th century
Population 3 280 782 method. (2022)
• Density 5265.91 hab./km²
Demonym from Madrid, -a
Postal Code 28001-28080
telephone preferences (+34) 91
Mayor (2019) José Luis Martínez
-Almeida ( PP )
Budget €5,703,000,000 8 ​( 2023)
Pattern San Isidro
Patroness Virgin of the Almudena
[ edit data on Wikidata
Madrid is a municipality and a city in Spain . The town, with the historical category of town , 9 is the capital of the State 10 and of the Community of Madrid . In its municipal area, the most populous in Spain, 3,280,782 people are registered ( INE 2022), making it the second most populous city in the European Union , as well as its metropolitan area , with 6,779,888 registered inhabitants. 11 ​12 ​13 ​14​15 ​note 1

It has a nominal GDP of 133,129 million euros —12% of national GDP— and a nominal GDP per capita of €41,600 (2018), being the 1st Spanish metropolitan area in terms of economic activity, −19% of GDP. 16 It is also the first in more hotel overnight stays. 17

As the capital of Spain, it houses the headquarters of the Government of Spain and its Ministries , the Cortes Generales ( Congress and Senate ), the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court , as well as the official residence of the kings of Spain 18 and the president of the Government . On the economic level, according to the report carried out by PwC on the evolution of the population and the economy of the main world capitals in 2009, it is the fourth richest city in Europein GDP per capita measured in terms of Purchasing Power Parity, after London, Paris and Moscow. 19 In 2009, 50.1% of the income of the 5,000 main Spanish companies is generated by companies with headquarters in Madrid, which account for 31.8% of them. 20 It is the headquarters of the 4th largest stock market in Europe , 21 2nd in the Ibero-American sphere ( Latibex ), and several large corporations. 22 ​23​ It is the 8th city in the world with the largest presence of multinationals. 24 ​25

At the international level, it houses the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), which belongs to the UN , the headquarters of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (OICV), the headquarters of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), the headquarters of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI), the International Youth Organization for Ibero-America (OIJ), and the headquarters of the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB). 26 It also houses the main international institutions that regulate and disseminate the Spanish language : the Permanent Commission of theAssociation of Academies of the Spanish Language , 27​ and headquarters of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), the Cervantes Institute and the Urgent Spanish Foundation (Fundeu). Madrid organizes fairs such as FITUR , Madrid Fusión , ARCO , SIMO TCI , the Automobile Show and the Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week .

It is an influential cultural center and has museums of international reference, among which the Prado Museum , the Reina Sofía National Art Center Museum , the Thyssen-Bornemisza and CaixaForum Madrid stand out, which occupy, respectively, 14th, 10th .º, 67th and 79th place among the most visited museums in the world . 28 In 2021, the Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, landscape of arts and sciences, was included in the list of World Heritage Sites by Unesco . 29

The origins of the city are the subject of historical review after discoveries of Visigothic burials , which have come to confirm that the later Muslim fortified settlement of Maǧrīţ (from the 9th century ) had been established on a Visigothic vicus from the 7th century , possibly called Matrice or matrix ('stream'). 30 31 Archaeological excavations also reveal remains from Roman times, as well as remains dating back to the Carpetanos or the pre-Roman period . It would not be until the 11th century when Madrid was incorporated into the Kingdom of León., after its conquest by Alfonso VI of León in 1083. It was designated as the seat of the Court by King Philip II in 1561, becoming the first permanent capital of the Spanish monarchy and has maintained the country's capital status ever since, except for brief timeslots.

The first documented name is the one it had in Andalusian times , مجريط Maǧrīţ (AFI [ maʤriːtˁ ]), which gave in Old Castilian Magerit ([ maʤeˈɾit ]), about whose origin a multitude of hypotheses have been formulated throughout history.

The most widespread theory until recent times was that of the Arabist Jaime Oliver Asín , who stated in 1959 that Maŷriţ or Maǧrīţ ( ŷ and ǧ are two ways of representing the same sound), derives from maǧra , which means "bed" or bed of a river, to which the Romance suffix -it was added , from the Latin -etum indicating abundance (Arabic-Romance hybrids were frequent in al-Andalus). At first, Oliver Asín affirmed, however, that the current name of Madrid does not come from Maǧrīţ but from the Mozarabic romance , Matrice , pronouncedMatrich with the meaning of "matrix" or "source". Oliver documented that the two place names, Arabic and Romance, coexisted in time; and, according to his original hypothesis, they would be used by both Muslim and Christian populations , who respectively lived on the current Almudena and Vistillas hills, separated by a stream that ran along the current Segovia street, which is the source of both. Names. Oliver went further, affirming that the popular denomination « los madriles », in the plural, which is given to the city, comes from these two towns. However, Oliver later retracted this theory of the double name and simply stated that the name of Madrid comes from the Arabic Maǧrīţ . 32

The linguist Joan Coromines proposed an alternative theory in 1960, pointing out that Maǧrīţ is actually nothing more than the phonetic Arabization of Matrich , with metathesis of ǧ and ţ and does not have to be related to the Arabic word maǧra , a possibility that Oliver Asín already pointed out. but which he discarded for reasons not exclusively linguistic. This theory was later developed by the Arabist and linguist Federico Corriente Córdoba , 33 and is the most widespread today. 34

As for the Latin name of the town, Matritus , it is of late medieval artificial creation, for use in documents.

The common adjective for the inhabitants of Madrid is "Madrileño". There is a cultist variant, "matritense", derived from the Latin place name and its demonym matritensis , and which is not commonly applied to people. 35 36 In addition, historically, the inhabitants of Madrid have also been nicknamed "cats" because, according to legend, the conquest of the city by the troops of Alfonso VI, at the end of the 11th century, was carried out by means of assault on the wall over which the Castilian troops climbed. 37Other legends point out, instead, that this nickname "cats" was given to the citizens of Madrid in the Middle Ages for their great ability to climb walls and cliffs with their bare hands.

Main article: Coat of arms of Madrid
Escudo heráldico de la Villa de Madrid, con el oso y el madroño
The symbols of the town of Madrid are the crimson flag typical of the Castilian town halls and the traditional shield with the bear and the strawberry tree , headdressed with an ancient royal crown, according to the current Protocol and Ceremonial regulations of the Madrid Town Hall. 38

Although there is always talk of the "bear and the strawberry tree", in the past it was a bear. Likewise, the strawberry tree was not identified as such, but was a tree with red fruits, until the fruits of the strawberry tree were used to cure a plague that devastated the city. Since then the tree has been identified as arbutus. In the 16th century , the improvement of the shield was proposed:

To the coat of arms of this Council, which bears a bear and a strawberry tree in a white field, may Your Majesty grant that it bear a crown within the shield, or a blue border with seven stars with eight rays, as a sign of the clear and extended sky that covers this village
Petition of the Council of Madrid to Carlos I of Spain , granted by the monarch. 1548. 39
For a time the shield of Madrid had a dragon, although some experts point out that it was a winged shingles or a golden griffon.

Among the antiquities that evidently declare the nobility and ancient foundation of this town, there has been one that in this month of June of 1569 years, to widen the Closed Door, they knocked it down, and it was at the top of the door, on the canvas of the wall carved in stone berroqueña a frightening and fierce dragon, which the Greeks brought for weapons and used them in their flag...
Juan López de Hoyos , Spanish writer and humanist. History and true account of the disease, most happy transition and sumptuous funeral obsequies of the most serene queen of Spain, Doña Isabel de Valois, our lady . 1569
From then on, many shields in Madrid had dragons . The official coat of arms of 1859 included a golden griffin that resembled a dragon. 40

In 2006, the municipal corporation adopted a logo based on the coat of arms of the city of Madrid, in a light blue line, which is used in internal documents and external communication.

Main article: History of Madrid
Despite the fact that no human fossil remains have been found, a great variety of tools have been found, especially in the surroundings of Arganda del Rey and Manzanares , which allow us to prove the existence of human settlements on the terraces of the river in the place that today occupies the city. 41 42 The current city sits on territory that at the time prior to Roman domination was occupied by the Carpetano group .

Roman and Visigothic times
The conquest and colonization by Rome of the Iberian Peninsula, initially carried out as a Roman military maneuver in its long series of wars with Carthage, lasted almost two centuries, from the Second Punic War to 27 BC. C. in which they complete the pacification of the north of the territory and divide it into three provinces. 43 The region that Madrid currently occupies would be located in Tarraconense .

Although it is possible that during the Roman period the territory of Madrid did not constitute more than a rural region, benefited by the situation of crossroads and natural wealth, the discovery of the remains of a basilica from the Spanish-Visigothic period in the surroundings of the church of Santa María de la Almudena 44 has been presented as evidence of the existence of an urban settlement in that period. Other archaeological signs of the presence of a stable population in Madrid are found in the remains of two Visigothic necropolises, one in the former colony of the Count of Vallellano — Paseo de Extremadura, next to the Casa de Campo — and another in Tetuán de las Victorias. Inside the medieval quarter, a rather deteriorated tombstone was found with the legend, never completed and interpreted in various ways, but which could indicate the presence of a stable population already in the 7th century :

min. n. bocatus indignant prs. and thirdly kingdom lord rvd. / mi. regvm. era dccxxxv
Muslim era

Vestiges of the Muslim wall next to the Cuesta de la Vega
The first historical record of the existence of a stable settlement dates from the Muslim era. 45 In the second half of the 9th century , the emir of Córdoba Muhammad I (852-886) built 46 a fortress on a promontory next to the river, 45 which is one of the many fortifications that he ordered to be built in the border territory of the Marca Media with the triple purpose of monitoring the passes of the Sierra de Guadarrama and protecting Toledo from raidsof the Christian kingdoms of the north, of being a starting point for Muslim incursions into said kingdoms and of establishing the authority of Córdoba in this region. The first written news about Madrid is found in the Cordoba chronicler Ibn Hayyan (987-1075), who, quoting another earlier chronicler, al-Razi (888-955), says:

Muhammad and the time of his reign are owed beautiful works, many deeds, great triumphs and total care for the well-being of Muslims, worrying about their borders, guarding their gaps, consolidating their extreme places and attending to their needs. He was the one who ordered the construction of the castle of Esteras, to keep the crops of Medinaceli , found on its northwest side. And he was the one who, for the people of the Toledo border, built the castle of Talamanca , and the castle of Madrid and the castle of Peñahora . He frequently collected news from the brands and attended to what was happening in them, sending people he trusted to check that they were okay. 47
Next to the fortress, the town develops, to the south and to the east, mainly. This population receives the name of Maǧrīţ (AFI [ maʤriːtˁ ]) (in Old Castilian Magerit [ maʤeˈɾit ]), which could be an Arabization of the Romance name Matrice , "matrix", alluding to a stream of that name that ran next to the primitive city, by the current street of Segovia, 33​ or be a hybrid between the Arabic word Maǧra , which means "bed" or "watercourse", and the Romance suffix -it (< Latin -etum), which indicates abundance; the meaning would therefore be "place abundant in waters", in reference to the various surface and subterranean streams that could be found on the site of the city. 48

The most complete news about Muslim Madrid is given by the geographer Al-Himyari in the 15th century , who citing older sources says of this city that it was:

A noble city of al-Andalus built by the emir Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman. From Madrid to the Maqida bridge [ Valdemaqueda ?], which was the limit of the lands of Islam, there are 31 miles. In Madrid there is a clay with which some pots are made that can be used to put them on the fire for twenty years without breaking, and what is cooked in them is preserved without being affected by either the cold or the heat of the environment. The castle of Madrid is one of the most powerful, built by the emir Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman. Ibn Hayyan mentions in his History of him the moat that was dug outside the walls of Madrid, saying that a tomb was found in it with a skeleton measuring 51 arms , that is, 102 spans .(approx. 9 m), from the head cushion to the end of the feet. The qadi of Madrid, who went to the place and observed it along with several witnesses, drew up a record of this, certifying it. 49

Remains of the Tower of Bones , an ancient Islamic watchtower, in the Plaza de Oriente
The tradition has been maintained over time that the primitive hisn or Andalusian fortress occupied the site on which the Christian fortress was later built and later the current Royal Palace . Many researchers have worked with this hypothesis, developing proposals for the reconstruction of the layout of the walls of the old al-mudayna or citadel based on this idea. However, there is no archaeological or documentary evidence that hisnwas in that location, and nowadays scholars tend to think that the citadel wall passed through the current square that separates the Almudena Cathedral from the Palace and therefore did not include the site of the latter. The walled Andalusian city, therefore, would have been built on the hill delimited to the south by the hollow of the San Pedro stream (current Segovia street), to the north by the Arenal stream (current Arenal street) and to the west through the ravine that ends in the Manzanares plain. Outside the walls, to the south and west, a larger population developed that was surrounded in Christian times by a second wall.

From the various archaeological works carried out in the city from the mid- 19th century onwards, they have found remains such as: the Arab wall of the Cuesta de la Vega , the watchtower of the Plaza de Oriente and the vestiges of a waterway in the square of the Cars. Other remains of the wall, now missing, are known from the old plans of the city. The main mosque, whose existence gave the population the character of a medina or city, occupied the place where the church of Santa María was later built, demolished in the 19th century to widen the main street . This was already the main street of the city in Andalusian times.34

In the year 932, King Ramiro II in his process of territorial conquest in the south of the kingdom of León attacked the Umayyad fortress of Madrid, in his idea of ​​conquering Toledo . Already occupied by al-Nasir , some time before, the fortresses on the right bank of the Tagus , Ramiro was only able to settle momentarily and dismantle the fortifications of Madrid and pillage its closest lands, from where he brought numerous people. The walls of Madrid were reinforced after this attack. 50 ​51 ​52 ​53

During the Caliphate era, Madrid belonged to the chora of Guadalajara. After the disintegration of this caliphate, the city became part of the taifa kingdom of Toledo .

Maslama al-Mayriti was born in Arab Madrid in the 10th century , known as "the Andalusian Euclides", a notable astronomer and founder of a mathematical school in Córdoba. 54

Christian conquest and establishment of the capital of the Hispanic Monarchy

Church of San Nicolás de los Servitas , the oldest in the historic center of Madrid note 2
With the fall of the Taifa kingdom of Toledo at the hands of Alfonso VI of León , the city was taken by the Segovian Quiñoneros Díaz Sanz de Quesada and Fernán García de la Torre in 1085 without resistance, probably by capitulation. The city and its alfoz were integrated into the kingdom of León as royal territories. The Christians replaced the Muslims in the occupation of the central part of the city, leaving the peripheral neighborhoods or suburbs , which in the previous period were inhabited by the Aljama de la Villa. There was also a Jewish quarter, which was first located around the current Teatro Real , and later where the current Almudena Cathedral , 56​ although the late romantic tradition placed it in the surroundings of what would later be the Lavapiés neighborhood , 57​ which is impossible because in the Middle Ages it was an inhospitable and uninhabited area, and furthermore there have never been Jewish quarters outside the city walls.

During the following century, Madrid continued to receive attacks from the new Muslim powers on the peninsula, the Almoravids , who set the city on fire in 1109, and the Almohads , who put it under siege in 1197. The Christian victory at Las Navas de Tolosa definitively removed the Muslim influence from the center of the peninsula.

From this period come two outstanding religious events that mark the development of the personality of popular Christianity in Madrid: the "discovery" of the image of the Virgin of Almudena and the life of Isidro Labrador , who would later be canonized. 58 The city is prospering and receives the title of villa in 1123. 59 Following the habitual repopulation scheme in Castile, Madrid constitutes a council, head of a community of villa and land , the community of villa and land of Madrid . The government of the city rests with all the people of Madrid with the rank of neighbors, meeting in an open council until in 1346, the kingAlfonso XI establishes the regiment , in which only representatives of the local oligarchy, the aldermen, govern the city. In 1152, King Alfonso VII established the boundaries of the villa and land community between the Guadarrama and Jarama rivers . In 1188, a representation from Madrid participated for the first time in the Cortes of Castile . In 1202, Alfonso VIII granted it its first municipal charter, which regulated the operation of the council, whose powers were extended in 1222 by Fernando III the Saint .

Old fortress of Madrid at the beginning of the 16th century
Despite Madrid's support for Pedro I , later the sovereigns of the house of Trastámara would frequently reside in the town due to the abundance and quality of its hunting grounds, which they were very fond of. Even earlier, Alfonso XI 's book of Montería already noted: "Madrid, a good place for pigs and bears", and possibly from this characteristic derived the shield that the Madrid hosts took to the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa . 60Subsequently, a long lawsuit between the City Council and the Church ended with an agreement to distribute pastures for the latter and tree feet for the former, with which a tree was incorporated into the shield together with the bear or she-bear and the seven stars of the constellation namesake . 60 The identification of the tree with the strawberry tree is more obscure, beyond the homophony with the name of the city.

The Cortes of Castile met for the first time in Madrid in 1309 under the reign of Fernando IV and later in 1329, 1339, 1391, 1393, 1419 and twice in 1435. From the unification of various kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula under a common Crown , the Cortes were convened in Madrid more frequently.

In the fifteenth century , when the number of cities with attorneys in the Courts of Castile was fixed at eighteen, the town maintained its vote in them.

Lithograph from the 19th century representing the transfer of the Court to Madrid by Felipe II in 1561
In the War of the Communities , at the head of its alderman Juan de Zapata , Madrid joined the uprising against Carlos I (1520), 61 taking the fortress on August 31, 1520 (see: Site of the Alcázar of Madrid ) . However, after the defeat of the community members in Villalar , the town was besieged and occupied by royal troops in mid-May 1521. Despite all this, the successor of Carlos I, Felipe II decided to install the court in Madrid on February 13, 1561 (462 years ago). 62

The establishment of the capital in Madrid would be decisive for the evolution of the city and would make the vicissitudes of the country and the monarchy, to a greater or lesser extent, influence the destiny of the city. Except for a brief period between 1601 and 1606, in which the court moved to Valladolid , the capital will be inherent to Madrid. A famous expression indicated that identity: "only Madrid is cut", which, in a conceptual way, was also understood the other way around: "Madrid is only cut". 63

View of Madrid from the west, in front of the Puerta de la Vega, by Anton Van der Wyngaerde (called "Antonio de las Viñas" in Spain) in 1562, commissioned by Felipe II to collect views of his cities. The banks of the Manzanares river can be seen in the foreground , crossed by the predecessors of the Segovia bridge (in the foreground), and the Toledo bridge (further south, right), which will be built in monumental form years later. The most prominent building, to the north (left), is the Alcázar , which is part of the walled circuit and which suffered several fires until the fateful fire of 1734, which almost completely destroyed it, being replaced by the current Royal Palace.. Among the houses, the towers of the churches stand out (from left to right: San Gil , San Juan, Santiago, San Salvador, San Miguel de los Octoes , San Nicolás, Santa María, San Justo, San Pedro, the Bishop's chapel, San Andrés and, outside the walls, San Francisco), which still do not show the profile of domes and spiers that will characterize them in the following centuries. Outside the walls and on the river, an artisan facility dedicated to the treatment of leather appears: the Pozacho Tanneries. The recent installation of the court caused an increase in the fiscal pressure on individuals through the levy of the property royalty, which produced all kinds of resistance, among which the construction of houses against malice stood out 64

View of the Royal Alcazar and surroundings of the Segovia Bridge , anonymous, c. 1670
With the establishment of the court in Madrid, its population began to grow significantly. The royal bureaucracy, the members of the court and all the people necessary for their livelihood, are joined by disinherited and go-getters from all over the Spanish Empire . In 1625, Felipe IV demolished the city wall, already surpassed, and built what would be the last near Madrid . This fence, built exclusively for fiscal reasons ( portazgo tax ) will limit the growth of the city until the 19th century . Government tasks are centralized in the Royal Alcázar , a group of buildings located on the land that will later be occupied by the Royal Palace and theorient square . At the same time, the area of ​​another palace in the extreme east of the city, beyond the fence, is increased. It is the Buen Retiro palace , begun by the Catholic Monarchs (who also moved the monastery of San Jerónimo el Real to its vicinity , previously located near the Manzanares, area of ​​the current Príncipe Pío station ), of which there are still its gardens , the Kingdom Hall and the Ballroom, the latter known as the Casón del Buen Retiro and currently used by the Prado Museum.

See also: Madrid de los Austrias
Enlightenment and neoclassicism

Arrival of Carlos III , nicknamed "The best mayor of Madrid", note 3​ to the city (1759), oil painting by Lorenzo Quirós
The change of dynasty would bring important changes to the city. The monarchs of the new dynasty found it a dark population, with narrow streets, overcrowded, without sewage systems, and pestilential. 65 The Bourbons considered the need to compare Madrid to other European capitals. The fire in the Alcazar of Madrid in 1734 (an unfortunate event that caused the disappearance of a third of the royal collection of paintings) gave rise to the construction of the Royal Palace . 66 The works lasted until 1755 and it was not occupied until the reign of Carlos III. Bridges, hospitals, parks, fountains, buildings for scientific use, sewage ordinances and other actions were promoted by this last monarch, (who receives the popular title of "best mayor of Madrid"), with the collaboration of architects and urban planners from great professional and artistic category: Francesco Sabatini , Ventura Rodríguez and Juan de Villanueva , among others.

Calle de Alcalá in the middle of the 18th century by Antonio Joli
The Salón del Prado project, on the outskirts of the city, between the Buen Retiro complex and the fence, is probably the most important and the one that has left the most important legacy to the city: the Prado and Recoletos promenades, the fountains of Neptune , Cibeles and Apollo , the Royal Botanical Garden , the Royal Astronomical Observatory or the Villanueva building, initially intended to house the Royal Cabinet of Natural History , although it would eventually be assigned to the then newly constituted Museo del Prado. However, the relationship of the "king mayor" with his subjects-neighbors was not always good; Several measures of its modernization program were violently contested during the Esquilache riot of 1766, although more complex causes also converged in it. 67

The city appears seen from the southwest, and somewhat different from how Wyngaer might have drawn it two hundred years before. The Alcázar de los Austrias has been replaced by the Bourbon palace of Felipe V , the Segovia bridge (on the left) is the current one, and the profile of the enormous dome of San Francisco el Grande dominates the rest of the town's churches. To the north (to the left) you can guess the "mountain" of Príncipe Pío , where the executions of May 3, 1808 took place, immortalized in Goya 's painting .

The expansion and the industrial age
See also: Ensanche de Madrid

Goya 's May 3 in Madrid
The uprising of the people of Madrid against the French troops on May 2, 1808 marks the beginning of the War of Independence . 68 King José Bonaparte carried out reforms in the capital, and his orders to demolish convents to make squares were frequent, for which he acquired the nickname Pepe Plazuelas . 69 The course of the war forced him to flee Madrid on two occasions but the occupation of the city resulted in the destruction of valuable venues, such as the Buen Retiro Palace .

The confiscation meant a drastic change in the real estate property system, as well as concentrating a large art collection, the Museo de la Trinidad , which was dissolved in 1872 and its collections went on to swell those of the Museo del Prado (created during the reign of Ferdinand VII). It also supposes the creation in Madrid of the Central University , which will keep the name of Complutense since it comes from the physical and legal transfer of the faculty and students of the renowned University of Alcalá to the nearby capital.

Calle de San Bernardo in the mid- 19th century by David Roberts
During the 19th century , the city's population continued to grow. 70 The perception of the changes that will make the pre-industrial city disappear stimulates the appearance of a "Madrid-like" literature, of a costumbrista nature , such as that of Ramón de Mesonero Romanos . The statistical and all kinds of information compiled by Pascual Madoz in his Geographical-statistical-historical dictionary for all of Spain was especially exhaustive for Madrid, whose article has a very significant heading: «Madrid: audience, province, intendancy, vicarage, party and town ». 71

In 1868 the fence of Felipe IV was finally demolished and the city was able to grow, in principle in an orderly manner, thanks to the Castro plan and the realization of the extensions . 72 ​73​ It will be the opportunity for fabulous business, which enriched José de Salamanca y Mayol, Marquis of Salamanca , who gave his name to the new neighborhood created to the east of what will become the central axis of the city (the Paseo de la Castellana , prolongation of Paseo del Prado ). A modern water supply system is established (the Canal de Isabel II) and communication by rail is established that will make Madrid the center of the radio communication network, which also leaves its mark on the urban fabric ( Delicias station , Atocha station and Príncipe Pío station ).

In the first thirty years of the 20th century , the Madrid population reached more than one million inhabitants. 74 New suburbs such as Las Ventas , Tetuán or El Carmen welcomed the newly arrived proletariat, while the Madrid bourgeoisie settled in the expansions . These transformations fostered the idea of ​​the linear city , by Arturo Soria . At the same time, the Gran Vía was opened in order to relieve congestion in the old town and the city's metro was inaugurated in 1919. 75During the reign of Alfonso XIII, real pecunio lands, to the northwest of the Royal Palace, were ceded to found the Ciudad Universitaria .

Second Republic and Civil War

Central Fruit and Vegetable Market , Legazpi square (1935)
The municipal elections of April 12, 1931 gave a great victory to the republican-socialist conjunction in Madrid, which obtained 69.2% of the votes 76 (90,630 votes for the conjunction and 31,616 for the monarchists, 77 which resulted in 15 socialist councilors and 15 republicans compared to 20 monarchist councilors). Pedro Rico , from the Federal Democratic Republican Party , was elected mayor by the municipal corporation. The republican triumph in Madrid and most of the provincial capitals meant the decomposition of the monarchy and the advent of the Second Spanish RepublicJust two days after the elections. The Republican committee assumed power on the afternoon of the 14th, and proclaimed the Republic in the Real Casa de Correos in Puerta del Sol , headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior , before an ecstatic crowd. 78 The Constitution of the Republic promulgated in 1931 was the first to legislate on the capital status of the State, explicitly establishing it in Madrid. 79 One of the first actions of the new government was to cede the Casa de Campo to the people of Madrid , until then royal property; opening to the public for the first time on May 1, 1931 at a massive country party. 80

The outbreak of the Spanish civil war took place in Melilla in the middle of the afternoon on Friday, July 17, and was known in Madrid in the following hours. Still on Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th the city kept a certain normality. After the rebellion in Madrid was crushed, poorly planned, in the Montaña barracks and the Carabanchel barracks, in which the loyal elements of the Army and the Security Forces were aided by the popular militias (organized since the end of 1934 by the Communist Party of Spain under the name of Workers' and Peasants' Armed Militias), to which the Government authorized the delivery of arms. From that moment on, an indiscriminate repression began not only against those who had participated in the rebellion, but also against those who, because they did not share the political ideas of the Popular Front, were considered "disaffected to the Regime." Numerous interrogation, detention and torture centers (the “ checas ”) arose, from which many detainees only came out to be “walked around”, and their corpses later appeared in the outskirts of the city. There were numerous " sacks of prisoners"» in which the so-called Surveillance Militias entered the prisons (San Antón, Ventas, etc.) with their lists of people to be eliminated, “removed” the prisoners who appeared on the lists and shot them on the outskirts of the city . The massacres of Paracuellos de Jarama and Torrejón de Ardoz in November/December 1936 had a special magnitude , in which the most well-founded calculations show between 2,000 and 3,000 victims. The " sacks of prisoners " in Republican territory ended with the arrival of Melchor Rodríguez Garcíato the position of General Delegate of Prisons. Innumerable private homes were also seized, and the same fate suffered the headquarters of the right-wing political parties. Churches were attacked and burned, with irreparable artistic and cultural losses, and by official government decree of August 1936, all churches in Republican Spain and therefore also those in Madrid were definitively closed.

The resistance of the militias, militarized in the form of the People's Army of the Republic in 1937, led by the Madrid Defense Board , managed to stop the offensive during the battle of Madrid in the western neighborhoods of the city, especially around the Argüelles neighborhood and Ciudad Universitaria , where the front was stabilized, and which was devastated in the conflict, losing, in addition to the University buildings, such valuable elements as the Royal Site of Moncloa, which included the palace of the same name (the current is a post-war reconstruction) and the Casa de Velázquez . 81

The city would not suffer another land assault during the war, but it was punished by artillery fire and aerial bombardments, the first in history on a capital, in the image of those that other Europeans will suffer during the Second World War . In four months, from November 7, 1936 to March 9, 1937, 1,490 deaths, 430 disappearances, and 3,502 injuries were caused by the aviation operations of the insurgent side, supported by apparatuses of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy 82 . 83 apart from causing numerous damage to emblematic buildings, such as those that affected, from November 14 to 17, 1936, the Museo del Prado , the Museum of Modern Art, the Cajal Institute , the National Archaeological Museum and the Liria Palace . 84 Aviation was also used to frighten the enemy. 85

The resistance of Madrid was exalted by the propaganda in favor of the republican cause with the slogan " They will not pass !" and mocked at the end of the war, with the song by Celia Gámez "¡Ya hamos pasao!", but the situation forced the institutions and the Government, as well as the civilian population, to be evacuated to the interior and I raised. The end of the war was especially chaotic in Madrid, with the violent confrontation between armed units of the Communist Party and those loyal to the Madrid Defense Board, led by General Miaja, Colonel Segismundo Casado and the socialist Julián Besteiro .. The armed clashes in the streets of the city caused numerous victims and gave rise to bloody reprisals and executions by both sides. After the war ended on April 1, 1939, Madrid began to suffer Franco's repression; In July of that year, Count Galeazzo Ciano , Minister of Foreign Affairs of Fascist Italy , writes in his diary that there are between 200 and 250 executions a day. 86

Franco dictatorship

The Plaza de Moncloa with the Ministry of the Air and the Arco de la Victoria , one of the symbols of Francoism in the capital
After the war, the city continues its unstoppable spatial growth, while it heals the wounds that the war had left in the city, especially on its west façade. Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards emigrate from the countryside to the city. 87​ Madrid (along with Barcelona and Bilbao ) is one of the cities that benefits the most from these population movements. As of June 5, 1948, the process of annexation to Madrid of up to thirteen neighboring municipalities begins, which ends on July 31, 1954 ( Aravaca , Barajas , Canillas , Canillejas , Chamartín de la Rosa , Fuencarral , Hortaleza, El Pardo , Vallecas , Vicálvaro , Villaverde , Carabanchel Alto and Carabanchel Bajo, with which its extension goes from 66 km² to the current 607 km² and gains some 300,000 new inhabitants. 88 Urban disorder was the norm: shanty towns (magisterially described by Luis Martín-Santos in his novel Tiempo de silencio ) grew, while the historic center was subject to speculation , allowing the demolition of buildings of artistic or traditional value to to be replaced by others with a modern aesthetic, buildings of innovative architecture are built, such as the suspended Torres de Colón. In some cases, the architectural interventions have the character of marking the political presence, trying to strengthen the concept of Franco's "imperial Madrid", as in the Moncloa area, where the Victoria Arch and the Air Ministry are erected , in a Neoherrerian style , or the Trade Union House (currently the Ministry of Health), building of the Vertical Unions .

The Gran Vía in 1965, then called Avenida de José Antonio
The Planning Plan for the Metropolitan Area, approved in 1963, urged on by the demographic explosion of the capital, began the tendency to divert the urban population concentration of Madrid towards metropolitan municipalities such as Alcorcón , Alcobendas , Coslada , Fuenlabrada , Getafe , Leganés , Móstoles , San Sebastián de los Reyes , San Fernando de Henares and Torrejón de Ardoz , which became commuter towns . In 1973, the first sections of the M-30 were inaugurated , the first ring road in the city. [citation required ]

Transición y democracia
Tras la muerte del dictador Franco, Madrid fue uno de los escenarios principales durante el periodo de la Transición.89​ Los primeros meses del año 1977 destacaron por la agitación política y social, con huelgas, manifestaciones y contramanifestaciones violentas con víctimas mortales. Otros graves acontecimientos fueron los dos secuestros por parte del GRAPO y el episodio de la matanza de Atocha de 1977 que resultó en el asesinato por parte de miembros de la ultraderecha de los abogados laboralistas en un despacho situado en esta calle. Su multitudinario entierro, previo a la legalización del PCE fue narrado cinematográficamente en Siete días de enero, de Juan Antonio Bardem. Con la consolidación del régimen democrático, la constitución de 1978 confirma a Madrid como capital de la España democrática en cuyo apoyo tendrían lugar las manifestaciones multitudinarias tras el desbaratado golpe de Estado del 23 de febrero de 1981.

Enrique Tierno Galván y Ramón Tamames en una manifestación (1979)
En 1979, tuvieron lugar las primeras elecciones municipales democráticas desde la Segunda República en las que la lista de la UCD con José Luis Álvarez al frente fue la más votada, pero sin mayoría absoluta. Resultó elegido alcalde de la ciudad Enrique Tierno Galván, gracias al pacto del PSOE con el PCE. Durante esta alcaldía el Ayuntamiento regeneró la ciudad desde el punto de vista urbanístico y social. Lo que era la capital agonizante del franquismo llegó a ser el núcleo cultural más importante de Europa. La Movida madrileña fue un ejemplo de esta pujanza. Hubo también importantes mejoras en la calidad de vida de los habitantes de la ciudad. Tras la muerte de Enrique Tierno Galván, fue sustituido por Juan Barranco, del PSOE, con apoyos del PCE. Después la ciudad viró a posiciones más conservadoras con Agustín Rodríguez Sahagún, del CDS, y José María Álvarez del Manzano, del PP. Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, del PP, fue nombrado alcalde de la ciudad tras su periodo al frente del gobierno de la Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid. Finalmente, el 27 de diciembre de 2011, Ana Botella se convierte en la primera alcaldesa de la historia del municipio, tras el nombramiento de su antecesor como ministro de Justicia de España.

La elección democrática de alcaldes trae definitivamente grandes beneficios a la ciudad, al verse obligados los alcaldes a mejorar la calidad de vida de los ciudadanos, ante los que responden (los alcaldes franquistas eran elegidos directamente por Franco): construcción de bibliotecas, instalaciones deportivas, centros de salud; eliminación de los núcleos chabolistas; limpieza del río Manzanares; mejora del viario; cierre de la M-30 por el norte, enterramiento de la M-30 en la zona del Manzanares; construcción de nuevas vías de circunvalación (M-40, M-45, M-50), a la vez que se aumenta la capacidad de las carreteras de acceso (convertidas en autovías o duplicadas con autopista de peaje); regulación de aparcamiento (ORA) en el interior de la ciudad, que llega al límite de la M-30, con reiteradas protestas vecinales, todo ello con el objeto de absorber y regular el tráfico creciente. El papel de las grandes empresas inmobiliarias ha sido decisivo al marcar el nuevo estilo urbanístico en la ciudad de Madrid. Los nuevos barrios se articulan en torno a la manzana cerrada al exterior, con un núcleo formado por zonas verdes, piscinas, áreas de juegos infantiles, pistas deportivas, etc. Este nuevo estilo urbanístico ha ido modelando un nuevo concepto social en el que la calle ya no se entiende como un lugar de convivencia sino como un mero elemento de tránsito. Las personas en Madrid ahora tienden a reunirse más en bares, domicilios particulares, parques o incluso aparcamientos, apareciendo fenómenos antes desconocidos como el botellón.

Restos de los atentados islamistas del 11 de marzo de 2004
En la mañana del 11 de marzo de 2004, la red de transporte de cercanías de la ciudad fue el escenario de los atentados del 11 de marzo de 2004 reivindicados por Al-Qaeda, el ataque terrorista más grave sufrido en España y en la Unión Europea por el que resultaron asesinadas 192 personas y se causaron heridas a más de 1900.90​ El 11 de marzo de 2007, justo tres años después, los reyes de España inauguran en la plaza de Carlos V un monumento conmemorativo a las víctimas del atentado.91​ El 30 de diciembre de 2006, ETA voló el aparcamiento de la terminal T4 del aeropuerto de Barajas, causando la muerte a dos personas. Desde los atentados contra Luis Carrero Blanco (1973) y el bar de la calle del Correo (1974, frente a la Dirección General de Seguridad), Madrid ha sufrido buena parte de la actividad de esta banda terrorista, así como la de otros grupos de todo signo, como los de ultraderecha, el GRAPO y el terrorismo islámico.

En el siglo xxi, la ciudad sigue abordando nuevos retos: mantenimiento de la población dentro del núcleo urbano (Madrid es el municipio de España en el que el aumento del precio de la vivienda ha sido mayor); expansión de la ciudad (con la creación de nuevos barrios mediante el Plan de Actuación Urbanística: Montecarmelo, La Peseta, Arroyo del Fresno, Valdebebas, Las Tablas, Sanchinarro, Ensanche de Vallecas...); remodelación del centro histórico; absorción e integración de la inmigración que acude a la ciudad.

Artículo principal: Demografía de Madrid
El municipio, que tiene una superficie de 605,77 km²,92​ cuenta según el padrón municipal para 2020 del INE con 3 334 730 habitantes y una densidad de 5504,94 hab./km².

Gráfica de evolución demográfica de Madrid entre 1825 y 2020

Población según el Diccionario geográfico-estadístico de España y Portugal de Sebastián Miñano.93​
Población de derecho según los censos de población del INE.94​
Población según el padrón municipal de 2020.95​

Entre 1877 y 1887 crece el término del municipio porque incorpora a La Alameda. Asimismo, crece entre 1940 y 1950 porque incorpora a Aravaca, Barajas de Madrid, Canillas, Canillejas, Carabanchel Alto, Carabanchel Bajo, Chamartín de la Rosa, Fuencarral, Hortaleza, El Pardo, Vallecas y Vicálvaro, y entre 1950 y 1960 incorpora a Villaverde.


Personas en la Puerta del Sol
La población de Madrid ha ido experimentando un importante aumento desde que se transformó en capital. Este aumento es especialmente significativo durante el periodo de 1940 a 1970, en que casi triplicó su número de habitantes debido a la gran cantidad de inmigración interior.96​ Este acelerado crecimiento y la falta de planificación urbana produjo que se organizaran núcleos de infraviviendas y zonas residenciales, principalmente en los distritos del sur, en las que los servicios públicos no llegarían hasta muchos años después.97​

A partir de los años 1970, este aumento se desacelera en favor de los municipios de zona metropolitana y Madrid incluso comienza a perder población. Desde 1995 el crecimiento poblacional es de nuevo positivo, debido principalmente a la inmigración exterior.98​ Según los datos disponibles, a 1 de enero de 201999​ la población de Madrid ascendía a 3 275 195 habitantes, frente a los 2 938 723 del censo de 2001.

Movimientos de población
En 2017, se registraron 29 032 nacimientos en la ciudad de Madrid, 14 916 varones y 14 116 mujeres. La tasa de natalidad es de 9 puntos. La mayor parte de los nacimientos fueron por parte de madres de entre 35 y 40 años, suponiendo un 34 % de todos los nacimientos; le siguieron las madres de 30 a 35 años con un 32 % del total y de 25 a 30 con el 13 %. Las madres de más de 40 años supusieron el 12 % de todos los nacimientos y las de menos de 25 años un 8 %. La edad media de las madres era de 33 años.

En 2017, se registraron 28 594 defunciones en la ciudad de Madrid.

Principales países de origen de inmigrantes en Madrid
Puesto País100​ 2017101​
1 Bandera de Rumania Rumania 43 441
2 Bandera de la República Popular China China 40 245
3 Bandera de Venezuela Venezuela 39 279
4 Bandera de Colombia Colombia 32 752
5 Perú 26 813
6 Italia 25 933
7 Bandera de Ecuador Ecuador 24 141
8 Bandera de Honduras Honduras 23 498
9 Bandera de Marruecos Marruecos 23 133
10 Bandera de Paraguay Paraguay 20 435
11 Bandera de la República Dominicana República Dominicana 18 170
12 Bolivia 14 042
13 Bandera de Filipinas Filipinas 13 501
14 Bandera de Portugal Portugal 12 086
15 Bandera de Francia Francia 10 957
16 Bandera de Brasil Brasil 10 751
17 Ucrania 9739
18 Bandera de Estados Unidos Estados Unidos 8426
19 Nicaragua 7620
20 Bandera de Bulgaria Bulgaria 7582
21 Cuba 7133
22 Bandera del Reino Unido Reino Unido 7041
23 Bandera de Bangladés Bangladés 6670
24 Bandera de Argentina Argentina 6528
25 Bandera de Argelia Argelia 5976
26 México 5857
27 Polonia 5558
28 Alemania 5162
29 Bandera de El Salvador El Salvador 4705
30 Bandera de Chile Chile 2892
29 Bandera de Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 2705
Según el censo de 2019102​ la población extranjera de Madrid es de 462 343 habitantes sobre un total de 3 238 191, lo que supone el 14,12 %. Los distritos con más población inmigrante son Centro con un 22,81 %, Usera con un 22,07 %, Villaverde con un 19,50 % y Carabanchel con el 19,37 %. Por el contrario, los distritos con menor población inmigrante son Retiro con el 7,75 %, Fuencarral-El Pardo con el 8,50 %, Moratalaz con el 9,36 % y Barajas con el 9,45 %.

Área metropolitana
Artículo principal: Área metropolitana de Madrid

Mapa de Madrid y su área metropolitana (2012)

Vista aérea de Madrid
Junto a la ciudad de Madrid, se conforman una serie de núcleos urbanos que establecen una relación de interdependencia entre sí. En el caso de Madrid, la interdependencia se decanta claramente a una dependencia hacia el centro del área, Madrid, lo que se conoce como un área metropolitana dependiente de su núcleo, en oposición a conurbación, en el que la dirección de la dependencia es menos clara, con una mayor interdependencia en ambos sentidos. Según el concepto moderno de área metropolitana,103​ se clasifican regiones de distinta intensidad en sus relaciones urbanas: área urbana metropolitana, área suburbana metropolitana, área de expansión periurbana y área de difusión periurbana. Existiría otro nivel de relación, el de área de influencia de Madrid, que llegaría a zonas interiores de las comunidades autónomas vecinas de Castilla-La Mancha y Castilla y León. Cada nivel de interdependencia es más estricto que el siguiente, pudiéndose asimilar la idea de área suburbana metropolitana con la idea de área metropolitana definida por la Universidad Complutense.103​ La población de esta área en 2004 sería de 5 045 947.104​105​

Evolución histórica
Artículo principal: Evolución histórica del plano de Madrid

Plano de Madrid de Pedro Teixeira (1656) Mantua Carpetanorum sive Matritum Urbs Regia

Plano de 1762, con la cerca de Felipe IV. Este muro no sería derribado sino hasta mediados del siglo xix.
El casco antiguo, con origen en la medina musulmana, surge de un emplazamiento estratégico (el control de un vado del Manzanares) que determinará una serie de limitaciones topográficas: la disposición del caserío original en las zonas elevadas sobre el río y el barranco de la calle de Segovia, donde se establecerán, al lado norte la alcazaba y al sur los barrios mozárabe y judío (transmutados en morería y judería con la ocupación cristiana del siglo xi).

Cuando Felipe II hizo de Madrid la capital de España, acordó con las autoridades de la Villa establecer una llamada «Carga de Aposento», que no era exactamente lo mismo que la anterior regalía de aposento, puesto que fue una carga permanente, no transitoria, que las autoridades madrileñas pactaron con el rey, a cambio de que este estableciese la capitalidad en Madrid. Según esta carga, aquellos que tuvieran una casa de más de una planta, cederían una de ellas para aposentar la gran cantidad de funcionarios y cortesanos de segundo rango que habrían de llegar a la flamante capital de un importante imperio. Las autoridades de la ciudad pensaron en las ventajas económicas que la capitalidad traería, pero los madrileños, no especialmente contentos, empezaron a construir las que fueron llamadas casas a la malicia, de una sola planta, para no sufrir las incomodidades de la Carga. Como resultado de esto el casco urbano se extendió rápidamente y en unos cuarenta años (a principios del siglo xvii) llegó hasta la cerca que más tarde se construiría (por el norte hasta los llamados bulevares y por el este hasta el arroyo de la fuente Castellana, es decir, el paseo de Recoletos y El Prado) y que perduraría prácticamente hasta el siglo xix, mientras la ciudad volvía a crecer en altura.

Las ampliaciones urbanas necesariamente hubieron de hacerse hacia el este, por el obstáculo de las pendientes sobre el río. Las calles más amplias que desembocan en el Prado servían como espacio de «prestigio», como escenario de procesiones y paradas cortesanas. El planteamiento del paseo del Prado en tiempo de Carlos III respondía a los mismos criterios, determinó el futuro eje viario y de expansión urbana del paseo de la Castellana.

La rápida expansión del siglo xvi se hizo tan deprisa que no dejó espacio para la creación de plazas. Fue a principios del siglo xix, con el rey José I, que tenía como pretensión equiparar Madrid a otras capitales europeas que ya contaban con museos reales abiertos al público. Con dicha institución pretendía retener las obras de arte que su hermano Napoleón y ciertos militares franceses estaban llevándose a Francia. El museo como tal no llegó a fundarse; fue su sucesor en el trono español, Fernando VII de España, quien abordó su creación y lo inauguró en 1819, como Museo del Prado. El pueblo de Madrid le apodó El «rey plazuelas», puesto que abrió muchas plazas en la capital en perjuicio de iglesias y conventos, que fueron derribados. La más importante fue la plaza de Oriente, delante del Palacio Real.

Tras unos siglos en que el crecimiento quedó contenido en el casco antiguo, aumentando la densidad de ocupación originando, entre otras cosas, el modelo de las corralas, bien descrito por el costumbrismo madrileño), el ayuntamiento, impulsado por promotores privados (marqués de Salamanca), planteó una ambiciosa ampliación urbana.

Proyecto de Ciudad Lineal de Arturo Soria, presentado en 1885
Más allá de los bulevares que se abrieron cuando se derribó la cerca del siglo xvii, se construyó el ensanche de la segunda mitad del siglo xix proyectado por Carlos María de Castro llegando la zona urbana hasta el entonces denominado paseo de Ronda, que discurría por las actuales Reina Victoria, Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, Joaquín Costa, Francisco Silvela, Doctor Esquerdo, Reina Cristina, Infanta Isabel, Ronda de Atocha, Ronda de Valencia y Ronda de Toledo. De 1878 a 1910 duran los trámites de expropiación para la construcción del cementerio de la Almudena en tierras del entonces pueblo de Vicálvaro, motivo por el este pierde parte de su territorio en favor de la capital, al desgajarse de él las conocidas como «las Huertas de Vicálvaro» (los barrios de La Elipa y Las Ventas del Espíritu Santo). En las zonas que quedan en el extrarradio del ensanche van apareciendo núcleos espontáneos de viviendas de autoconstrucción más o menos precarias en las vías de acceso a la ciudad.

Bloques de viviendas en Canillas, uno de los municipios absorbidos por Madrid a lo largo del siglo xx
A comienzos del siglo xx se planifica en su zona noreste la Ciudad Lineal de Arturo Soria. Su ambicioso plan no llegó a completarse en todos sus extremos, y su integración con la naturaleza quedó definitivamente desvirtuada con la urbanización de todos los espacios intermedios, tanto hacia el centro urbano como hacia el exterior. También se amplió la edificabilidad en la mayor parte de las parcelas, aunque todavía hay algunas siguen teniendo el mismo aspecto que a principios de siglo. También es uno de los pocos bulevares que se han conservado.106​

Desde finales del siglo xix, el centro histórico sufrió alteraciones puntuales de alguna importancia, siendo la intervención más significativa la apertura de la Gran Vía, que junto con zonas de la Castellana (Nuevos Ministerios, AZCA) forman unos ejes «pantalla» que aíslan a ambos de sus lados zonas de menor altura de edificación y menor anchura del viario.

La periferia urbana del siglo xx corresponde con el espacio exterior a la llamada «almendra central» definida por la M-30, y que corresponde en su mayor parte a los antiguos municipios absorbidos tras la Guerra Civil. Además de los cascos históricos de esas poblaciones, las nuevas áreas residenciales creadas en el antiguo suelo agrícola son: barrios de chabolas posteriormente reedificados (Orcasitas, El Pozo del Tío Raimundo); o zonas de planificación de los años 1950 (San Blas); o promociones privadas de especulación urbanística de los años 1970 (barrio del Pilar) que a veces se han calificado de «chabolismo vertical». Los espacios intersticiales son ocupados por zonas de utilización productiva o los equipamientos públicos, que en la mayor parte de los casos tuvieron que conformarse con el escaso suelo que quedó libre de la especulación, en ausencia de una planificación con mayor perspectiva.107​

En el siglo xxi, la ciudad se expande con la creación de nuevos ensanches realizados en forma de damero, para acoger a la clase media y alta que decide abandonar el centro de la ciudad a favor de nuevas urbanizaciones cercanas a zonas verdes. Este Plan de Actuación Urbanística incluye los barrios de Montecarmelo, La Peseta, Arroyo del Fresno, Valdebebas, Las Tablas, Sanchinarro, Ensanche de Vallecas, etc. Estos ensanches incluyeron dos tipos de propuestas arquitectónicas: construcción de viviendas singulares y de autor realizadas por prestigiosos arquitectos; o construcción de grandes urbanizaciones de promoción privada con altos precios y lujosas dotaciones. El origen de estos ensanches coincide con el crecimiento de la burbuja inmobiliaria en España, en torno a 2005-2010.

Artículo principal: Arquitectura de Madrid
La mayor parte de los lugares turísticos de Madrid se encuentran en el interior de la llamada almendra central (la zona circundada por la M-30), principalmente en los distritos Centro, Salamanca, Chamberí, Retiro y Arganzuela.

Arco de Cuchilleros en la Cava de San Miguel, junto a la Plaza Mayor
El centro neurálgico de Madrid es la Puerta del Sol. En ella, frente a la Real Casa de Correos (actual sede de la Comunidad de Madrid), está el kilómetro 0, punto de partida de la numeración de todas las carreteras radiales del país. La razón es que cuando se hizo dicha numeración, en el siglo xix, la Real Casa de Correos era la sede del Ministerio de la Gobernación, equivalente al actual Ministerio del Interior, que era el que tenía las competencias en la materia.108​ De esta plaza nacen diez calles: calle Mayor, Arenal, Preciados, del Carmen, Montera, Alcalá, carrera de San Jerónimo, calle de Espoz y Mina, Carretas y del Correo.

La calle Mayor conduce hasta la plaza Mayor, construida y reconstruida en sucesivas intervenciones de los Maestros Mayores de Obras de Madrid, los arquitectos más presentes en el plano madrileño, como Juan Gómez de Mora (1619) o Juan de Villanueva (1790). Continuando por el llamado Madrid de los Austrias (en referencia a la dinastía de los Austrias) se llega finalmente a la calle de Bailén, cerca de la catedral de la Almudena y de la Real Basílica de San Francisco el Grande (Francisco Cabezas y Francesco Sabatini, 1784). La catedral de la Almudena tuvo diversos proyectos desde el siglo xviii (Ventura Rodríguez) hasta llegar al que finalmente se ejecutó (el de Fernando Chueca Goitia y Carlos Sidro, ganadores del concurso convocado en 1950); la cripta neorrománica de la catedral es la parte más antigua y valiosa del conjunto, de finales del siglo xix (autoría de Francisco de Cubas). Cerca de este punto se encuentra el origen de Madrid, las ruinas de la muralla musulmana y Torre de los Huesos de la antigua fortaleza de Mayrīt, así como de la posterior muralla cristiana. En este entorno se encuentran algunas de las zonas ajardinadas más bellas de la ciudad, como el Campo del Moro y los Jardines de Sabatini (y algo más al oeste están la Casa de Campo y el Parque Madrid Río, cruzado por el puente de Segovia —Juan de Herrera— y puente de Toledo —Pedro de Ribera—, cercano este a la puerta de Toledo —de Antonio López Aguado—).

El Palacio Real y la calle de Bailén
La calle de Arenal llega a la plaza de Ópera, donde se encuentra el Teatro Real (Antonio López Aguado y Custodio Moreno, 1850). Continuando, se llega hasta la plaza de Oriente, donde se encuentra el Palacio Real (Filippo Juvara y Juan Bautista Sachetti, 1738-1764) en el cruce con la calle Bailén. Desde allí en sentido norte se llega hasta la plaza de España, que con 36 900 m² es la plaza más grande de España, en la que se encuentran el monumento a Miguel de Cervantes, los edificios España y Torre de Madrid y el Templo de Debod (un templo egipcio trasladado piedra a piedra a España como agradecimiento por la ayuda ofrecida en la construcción de la Presa de Asuán). También en la plaza de España (en dirección hacia el este) nace la calle de la Princesa que conduce hasta la plaza de Moncloa (coronada por el Faro de Moncloa) y la Ciudad Universitaria; por otra parte, desde plaza de España (en dirección hacia el oeste) nace la Gran Vía de Madrid.

Templo de Debod, transportado piedra a piedra desde Egipto

Plaza de España: a la izquierda, la Torre de Madrid; en el centro, el monumento a Miguel de Cervantes; y a la derecha, el Edificio España
La calle de Preciados, calle del Carmen y la calle de la Montera nacen en la Puerta del Sol y se dirigen hacia el norte cortando la Gran Vía de Madrid. Las calles del Carmen y Preciados lo hacen en la plaza del Callao y dejan al norte el barrio de Malasaña (de una importante actividad nocturna y cultural); y en el cruce de Gran Vía con la calle Montera, la zona de Malasaña deja paso al barrio de Chueca (centro neurálgico LGTB en España).109​ La Gran Vía, que nace en la Plaza de España, llega finalmente hasta el cruce con la calle de Alcalá en las inmediaciones de la fuente de Cibeles y el paseo de la Castellana.

La calle de Alcalá conduce desde la Puerta del Sol hacia el noreste de la ciudad. Desde ella se llega a la plaza de Cibeles, en la que se encuentran lugares emblemáticos como la fuente de Cibeles, el Banco de España o el Palacio de Comunicaciones (Antonio Palacios, 1918), actual sede del Ayuntamiento de Madrid. Posteriormente la calle alcanza la plaza de la Independencia, en la que se encuentran la puerta de Alcalá, la calle de Serrano y una entrada al parque del Retiro (en el que se encuentran lugares emblemáticos como el palacio de Cristal de 1887 —Ricardo Velázquez Bosco—, el Estanque Grande, el Casón del Buen Retiro o la Casa de Fieras). La calle Alcalá continúa cruzando el barrio de Salamanca (milla de oro de Madrid donde se encuentran las firmas de moda y lujo más importantes del mundo) hasta llegar a las inmediaciones del Palacio de Deportes (en la calle de Goya). Más adelante, la calle de Alcalá llega a la plaza de Toros de Las Ventas (de José Espeliús en 1929, ejemplo muy tardío del estilo neomudéjar). La calle de Alcalá cruza la M-30 y continúa hasta llegar a la carretera A-2 en las inmediaciones del aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas.

La carrera de San Jerónimo sale desde la Puerta del Sol hacia el sureste, cruzando la plazas de Canalejas y la plaza de las Cortes (junto al Palacio de las Cortes, sede del Congreso de los Diputados), hasta finalmente llegar a la plaza Cánovas del Castillo, donde se encuentra la fuente de Neptuno y los famosos hoteles históricos Ritz y Palace. Junto a ellos se encuentra el llamado Triángulo del Arte (museo del Prado, Reina Sofía y Thyssen-Bornemisza), en el ajardinado Salón del Prado. No muy lejos se encuentra el Jardín Botánico, el Observatorio Astronómico (Juan de Villanueva), el Ministerio de Agricultura (de Ricardo Velázquez Bosco), la Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Atocha, el Panteón de Hombres Ilustres (Fernando Arbós y Tremanti) y la Real Fábrica de Tapices. También en este entorno se encuentra la iglesia de San Jerónimo el Real, el Palacio de la Bolsa (de Enrique María Repullés) y la Real Academia de la lengua Española.

Estación de Atocha
La calle del Correo, calle de Carretas y la calle de Espoz y Mina, parten desde la Puerta del Sol hacia el sur, hacia el barrio de las Letras (zona donde se