14 facts you don’t know about Madrid. Fun Facts about the Spanish capital.
The Spanish capital is a charming place, that’s for sure, but how many curiosity do you know about it? Madrid has a lot of secrets and fun facts, here are the 14 main ones:
Madrid and Spain are known for having been conquered by the Arabs for centuries. Madrid actually comes from the Arabic word “Magerit” which means “place with many streams/river”. Many locals will tell you that the name of capital comes from a local tree called “Madroño”, which could make sense. But this urban legend is wrong unfortunately. The tree got the name from the city.
Madrid is also the third most populated city and the second largest metro network in Europe. It is the fourth most visited city in Europe. The most visited city in Spain.
Madrid enjoys the largest amount of cloudless days than almost any other city in Europe, about 250 days of indiscriminated sunshine per year.
Madrid is about 650 meters above sea level which makes it the highest capital city in Europe.
Restaurante Sobrino de Botín and was founded in 1725 and it is the oldest restaurant still running in the world!
There is an older restaurant in Paris, but the place changed activities and has not been a restaurant throughout the whole time.
The official symbol of the capital is a bear standing and eating berries from the madroño tree. This is a metaphor for Madrid’s growth and represents possession and ownership of wood which used to be a very necessary good for construction.
Madrid-Barajas Airport is the main international airport serving the city . This is the tenth busiest airport in the entire world! Madrid-Barajas Airport serves as one end of the Madrid-Barcelona route which is often ranked as the busiest air route in the world!
Madrileños are often called “Gatos” (cats), not because of their sleeping habits, late just like cats, but because of the legend of an invasion of the Arabs, during which an adept soldier climbed the outer walls of the city with the agility of a cat; after which, his family assumed the name of Gato.
According to FIFA, Real Madrid FC is the world’s most successful football club of the 20th century and their Stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu is the third largest in Europe.
Casa de Campo is the largest park of Madrid and the largest Urban Park of Europe. Once the private hunting reserve of the king, unrolling just beneath the Royal Palace, it is now the go-to place for picnics and runners, mountain bikers and fans of long-boarding. It has a large lake for kayaking and an indoor and outdoor pools for swimming fans. With its over 1722 hectares it literally looks more like a wood in the middle of the city, rather than just a park. To give you an idea, this enormous park is larger than the entire center of Madrid.
Miguel de Cervantes and Lope de Vega weren’t exactly two best friends. They were two of the greatest literate of Spain, but happened to be active exactly during the same age. Ironically Lope de Vega’s former house, converted today into a museum, is located on what is now known as Cervantes Street. Cervantes on the other hand was buried at the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians, which is located on what is now Lope de Vega Street. Go figure!
In 1561 Felipe II made Madrid the base for his court, moving the capital from Toledo to the current one.
Not sure you counted them but here there are actually just 13 facts. Wonder which one is the 14th one? Well, the last and most important one we decided to let you discover, on your own, but especially, with your own terms.