Madrid Region is so much more than just its capital. There are lots of beautiful towns and villages in the area, even if most of its territory is occupied by the city of Madrid, which is also the capital of Spain.

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The city of Madrid

From Madrid to Heaven, and once there, a hole to glimpse at it

Popular Spanish saying

Buitrago de Lozoya, a small medieval village located in Madrid Region.

As Spain’s capital, Madrid currently houses the country’s Parliament, the Government’s headquarters and both the residences of the President and the King. It is the largest Spanish city, and it also has the most population, which exceeds three million people. Madrid has been the capital since 1560, when king Philip II moved it from Toledo to a fortress in Madrid that eventually was lost to fire in 1734.

From a historical point of view, Madrid was founded by the Moors in the 9th century C.E., although there had already been Christian presence in the area prior to that moment. Its name comes from the word Maýrit, which means “channeling”, and it is related to all the groundwater that it houses. It grew in importance once it became the country’s capital, mainly because it is right in the heart of Spain.

In Madrid, we can visit some monuments from the Spanish Golden Age, such as the Main Square, the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol, Cibeles Fountain, Puerta de Alcalá or the famous Retiro Park. The latter, which acts as a sort of lung for the city, contains a lake and a statue of king Alfonso XII on a horse. In addition, Madrid has two important soccer teams that play in international leagues: Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid.

The lake in Retiro Park, along with king Alfonso XII’s sculpture

Madrid’s cuisine is well-known, mainly because it comes from the capital of Spain. Its hot cocoa with churros is worldwide famous; its cocido madrileño, a meat and vegetables stew, satisfies even the hungriest of stomachs; its beers are especially renowned for the waiters’ skill to pour them, or tirar, as they say. However, if we had to choose one dish, it would be patatas bravas: delicious fries with a special sauce that we can only find in Spain. Try the authentic taste of patatas bravas at St. Vicent Spanish Cuisine!

Cibeles Fountain, and Madrid’s City Hall behind it.