WITH A POPULATION of 3,092,759 and crossed by the Manzanares River, Madrid is the capital and largest city in SPAIN.
Located approximately at the center of the Iberian Peninsula, at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama, Madrid has a dry continental climate, with hot summers and cool winters.
After enduring conquest by the Moors in 939 and reconquest by the Christian kings in 1083, Madrid was made the capital only in 1561, becoming the center of the largest world empire of the time.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the city lost some of its medieval character (irregular blocks and narrow streets), with the new Plaza Mayor (Main Square) becoming the new center.
A great number of churches and convents were built in this period.
Madrid attained a new level of development in the second half of the 18th century, with construction of the Paseo (boulevard) del Prado, the Botanical Garden, and the Puerta de Alcala; elegant palaces were added by the nobility.
By 1750, Madrid had 160,000 inhabitants and its population density increased until 1850 when 280,000 people were living in a cramped city, calling for urban renewal.
Response was the tearing down of the city walls in 1857 and the project of the Ensanche (expansion), originating the neighborhoods of Salamanca, Chamberi, and Arguelles to the north and east, known as Plan Castro of 1870.
By the end of the century, construction of Arturo Soria's innovative Linear City was initiated to the northeast as an example of liberal urbanism conciliating urban and rural life.
Because of its relative isolation, only in the 19th century did Madrid become the largest city in Spain, becoming a place of production.
In 1910, the Gran Via tore through the city to connect the new large neighborhoods.
Madrid was bombed during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), creating an opportunity to better plan a renewed city and to articulate a ring of peripheral settlements and greenbelts.
In the 1950s and 1960s, la Castellana was extended to the north and the area became the new financial and commercial center.
Because of its growth and importance, in 1984, Madrid became an Autonomous Community.
MODERN MADRID Madrid is today a large and dynamic cosmopolitan city with world-class museums and three large urban parks: the Parque del Oeste, the central Parque del Buen Retiro, and the huge Casa de Campo forest park with its 4,448 acres (1,800 hectares) sprawling to the west of the royal palace.
The city is the seat of the government and of the royal family, but despite the importance of services, Madrid keeps relevant industrial activity, producing automobiles, electrical equipment, farming machinery, chemicals, and other goods.
A web of expressways and railroads radiate from the city in almost every direction, crossing residential suburbs and industrial areas to connect the capital to all regions of Spain.
- Is it possible to go on vacation to Turkey following the shocks
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies the information that recently emerged saying that the Ministry is planning to ban Russians to enter the country.
There were two explosions that took place in Ankara during the meeting for peace between the Turkish authorities and Kurdistan Workers Party. The terrorist attack claimed the lives of 95 people and 250 people got injured.
Following the attack national media channels have reported that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs started elaborating recommendations for the Russians not to visit the country which has experienced the terror attacks.
However, on Sunday the rumors were denied by the media saying that this information is found to be untrue.
Experts believe that such decision is justified. Terror attacks took place in the Turkish capital, which is seldom visited by Russians or is not visited at all. Our citizens more often spend their holidays at the Mediterranean Sea resorts or in Istanbul, which are far away from Ankara. "
- Croatia launches a three-minute flight
"Split has become a city with one the shortest flights in the world. A three minute flights links the city air phase with the city centre.
The airline company that has launched the flight is developing the flights between the islands and the mainland of the country. Today the airplane flies to Lastovo, Rab, Korcula, Hvar and Lošinj Islands.
The price for a three minute flight is 149 kuna. The shortest flight is considered to be the one between the Scottish islands, Papa Westray and Westray, which lasts only 2 minutes. "