For hundreds of years people have made the land along the banks of the Manzanares River their home. Matrice was the name the Romans gave the original settlement along the river in the 2nd century, but the name was changed to Madrid in the 7th century, when the city was conquered by the Arabs. Today the metropolitan area of Madrid has a population of almost 6 million people in a 234 square mile area. Most of the people who call Madrid home are Castilians; their families have lived in the area for centuries, but other people from all over ancient Spain also call Madrid their home. The Catalonians, Valencians, Gallegos and Andalucíans have settled in today’s Madrid, but the official language of the city is Castellano.
The city is the third richest city in Europe and it is the 23rd riches city in the world in terms of GDP. Madrid attracts an enormous amount of foreign investment, as well as steady flow of job seekers. The people of Madrid earn more money per year than any other city in Spain, but the cost of living has steadily increased over the last fifteen years and now has the distinction of being the 22nd most expensive city in the world. At the current rate of expansion Madrid will continue to climb the list of pricey cities.
Madrid - The City At A Glance
- Círculo de Bellas Artes
- Arco ele ia Victoria
- Telefónica Building, Gran Via
- Plaza Mayor
- Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
- Plaza de ia Paja
- Palacio Real
- Check out some Flamenco (Visit the Corral de la Moreria)
- Circulo de Bellas Artes (offers up variety of events and shows including film, music, art displays, dance, theater and more.)
- Stroll on El Retiro (Madrid's biggest park)
- Go to the world class zoo
- La Transhumancia (yearly festival)