The Spanish capital Madrid has historically been the geographical, political and cultural center of Spain and was both the capital of the former Kingdom of Castile, as it is today the capital of the autonomous region of Madrid that has partially emerged from it. In addition to the seat of the Spanish government, there are important administrative and military authorities as well as the palace of the king and the archbishopric of Madrid with the Catholic archbishop in the Spanish capital. The city has also achieved national and international importance as a commercial and financial center. There are also six public universities and various other educational and cultural institutions in Madrid.
From the founding time of Madrid in the 9th century there are hardly any traces left today. While the cityscape of Madrid was initially largely shaped by the Spanish Habsburgs and Bourbons, the capital was extensively redesigned under King Joseph Bonaparte at the beginning of the 19th century. After the destruction during the Spanish Civil War, the dictator Francisco Franco who emerged from the unrest had the city rebuilt or rebuilt according to his plans. In the course of the economic reform, the number of skyscrapers increased steadily from 1959 until the financial crisis in 2007. In the course of the 20th century, the city’s population increased sixfold from around 500,000 to over three million residents. Today Madrid is the third largest city in the European Union with over 3.2 million residents (2018).
Although a large part of the historical buildings were destroyed in the course of Madrid’s eventful history, the city still offers a rich cultural heritage of architectural monuments from many different styles as well as historical districts, squares and streets. The Plaza Mayor, laid out as a market square in the center of the old town in the 15th century, is still the liveliest square in the city. From the Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, the six national roads, laid out radially in all directions, lead into the country and mark the center of the city as well as all of Spain. The Plaza de Cibeles is home to the Cybelebrunnen, the Palacio de Comunicaciones and the Banco de España, three of Madrid’s greatest attractions. The boulevard Calle de Alcalá begins at the Puerta del Sol and shows numerous representative Wilhelminian-style buildings up to the Plaza de Cibeles. The baroque Royal Palace (Palacio Real) is one of the largest palaces in Western Europe and is almost twice as large as Buckingham Palace or Palace of Versailles. The Palacio de Cibeles, built in 1919 using various historical architectural styles, has been the seat of the city council of Madrid since 2007. The Retiro Park is a spacious green area that was once laid out as a royal garden and is now available to the public for recreation and leisure activities. A crowd puller in the park is the crystal palace, which is made almost entirely of glass. The Palacio de Cibeles, built in 1919 using various historical architectural styles, has been the seat of the city council of Madrid since 2007. The Retiro Park is a spacious green area that was once laid out as a royal garden and is now available to the public for recreation and leisure activities. A crowd puller in the park is the crystal palace, which is made almost entirely of glass.
According to ehealthfacts, the second largest city in Spain with over 1.6 million residents is located on the Mediterranean Sea in the center of the region of Catalonia, the capital of which is Barcelona. Although the founding of Barcelona can be traced back to the Iberian settlement of Barkeno, which is over 2,000 years old, few facts are known about the origins of Barcelona. After the settlement of the place called Barcino by the Romans, the eventful history of the power of the city began with the triumphant advance of the Visigoths and then by the Moors, which changed several times between the medieval dynasties of the Carolingians, Franks and Habsburgs as a result of various conquests, succession and uprisings . Barcelona, which had already blossomed into an important trading center in the western Mediterranean in the Middle Ages, experienced in the middle of the 19th Century a renewed economic boom as the center of the industrial development of Spain, which contributed significantly to the wealth and political influence of Barcelona. The city expanded and was expanded to include a new district with an isomorphic basic grid. Barcelona hosted several international exhibitions, including the World Exhibition in 1888 and the equivalent Exposición Internacional de Barcelona in 1929. In 1938, as a result of the civil war, Barcelona was the target of numerous heavy air raids, some of which were considerable. In the course of the political renewal of Spain, modern Barcelona developed into a popular tourist destination with steadily growing visitor numbers and in 1992 it became the venue for the Olympic Games. In 1938, as a result of the civil war, Barcelona was the target of numerous heavy air raids, some of which were considerable. In the course of the political renewal of Spain, modern Barcelona developed into a popular tourist destination with steadily growing visitor numbers and in 1992 it became the venue for the Olympic Games.
In addition to the historic city center, the Gothic Quarter, in which there are numerous beautiful architectural testimonies of the medieval royal and trading city such as the Cathedral of St. Eulàlia, the Königsplatz or the town hall, important monuments from the time of the beginning industrialization are particularly worth seeing. These include the Palau Nacional or the planned town of Eixample with the Sagrada Família basilica and numerous villas and houses modeled on Art Nouveau in the special form of Modernism, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A number of squares, boulevards and boulevards such as Plaça de Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia, the market square Mercat de la Boqueria or La Rambla invite you to linger and stroll in Barcelona. The port houses the modern leisure and shopping center Maremagnum, which, among other things, houses the largest oceanarium on the theme of Mediterranean fauna. Thanks to the internationally well-connected airport, Barcelona is an ideal starting point for a trip through southern Spain.