The capital of Spain covers an area of 607 km² and is located in the central part of the Iberian Peninsula, just 10 km from the Hill of Angels, which is the geographical center of the country. The small Manzanares River flows through the city.
North of the capital is the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range, where there are ski slopes and cozy resorts. There are also plenty of sights scattered around Madrid, including the Escorial Palace, the Valley of the Fallen, El Pardo Palace and the royal summer residence of Aranjuez.
The population of Madrid exceeds 3 million, making it the largest city in the country. Most residents are Catholic, but Madrid has a steadily increasing number of migrants from Arab countries.
Madrid was founded by the Emir of Cordoba, Mohammed I, in the 9th century as a fortress for defense against Christians. It was not until the end of the 11th century that the city was recaptured from the Muslims, and the local fortress was used as a temporary residence for Spanish kings.
In 1561 Madrid was proclaimed the capital of the Spanish state, which led to a rapid population growth and rapid development of urban construction. The planned development of the city was approved during the Bourbon era, which led to the Royal Factories, Academies and the Royal Library.
In the mid-19th century, after the demolition of the medieval city wall, the territory of Madrid began to be divided into three zones: the historical part, the expansion zone and the suburban zone.