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Ruins of Madrid's Muslim wall, built in the 9th century

Although the site of modern-day Madrid (Spain) has been occupied since prehistoric times, and there are archeological remains of a small visigoth village near the modern location, [1] the first historical data from the city comes from the 9th century, when Muhammad I of Cordoba ordered the construction of a small palace in the same place that is today occupied by the Palacio Real. Around this palace a small citadel, al-Mudayna, was built. Near that palace was the Manzanares, which the Muslims called al-Majrīṭ (Arabic: المجريط, "source of water"). From this came the naming of the site as Majerit, which was later rendered to the modern-day spelling of Madrid). The citadel was conquered in 1085 by Alfonso VI of Castile in his advance towards Toledo. He reconsecrated the mosque as the church of the Virgin of Almudena (almudin, the garrison's granary). In 1329, the Cortes Generales first assembled in the city to advise Ferdinand IV of Castile. Sephardic Jews and Moors continued to live in the city until they were expelled at the end of the 15th century.

In 1383, Leon VI of Armenia was named Lord of Madrid by King John I of Castile[2]. In 1375, the crusader Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia had been conquered by Egyptian Mamluks and Leon V was taken prisoner to Cairo. The king of Castile felt compassion for him and ransomed him with precious stones, silks, and birds of prey. Leon Lusignan arrived ill and poor to Medina del Campo. John I granted him for life the town of Madrid, Villa Real and Andújar and a yearly gift of 150,000 maravedis. He rebuilt the towers of the Royal Alcazar. According to Father Mariana, Leon left Castile for France after the death of his protector in 1390 and died in 1391 in Paris. Federico Bravo, however states that he left after two years of ruling and five years later, the Madrilenians were conceded the revocation of the lordship by John. After troubles and a big fire, Henry III of Castile (1379-1406) rebuilt the city and established himself safely fortified outside its walls in El Pardo, after a royal schedule issued in 1391. To avoid cases like that of Leon, he ordered that Madrid would be thereinafter an unalienable possession of the Crown of Castile.

The grand entry of Ferdinand and Isabella to Madrid heralded the end of strife between Castile and Aragon.

Plaza Mayor, from 1619

Toledo, and Aragón, with its capital at Barcelona, were welded into modern Spain by Charles I of Spain. Though Charles favored Madrid, it was his son, Philip II (1527-1598) who moved the court to Madrid in 1561. Although he made no official declaration, the seat of the court was the de facto capital. Seville continued to control the Spanish Indies, but Madrid controlled Seville. Aside from a brief period, 1601-1606, when Felipe III installed his court in Valladolid, Madrid's fortunes have closely mirrored those of Spain. During the Siglo de Oro (Golden Century), in the 16th/17th century, Madrid had no resemblance with other European capitals: the population of the city was economically dependent on the business of the court itself.

Fountain of Cybele, from 1792, at Plaza de Cibeles

Felipe V decided that a European capital could not stay in such a state, and new palaces (including the Palacio Real de Madrid) were built during his reign. However, it would not be until Carlos III (1716-1788) that Madrid would become a modern city. Carlos III was one of the most popular kings in the history of Madrid, and the saying "the best mayor, the king" became popular during those times. When Carlos IV (1748-1819) became king the people of Madrid revolted. After the Mutiny of Aranjuez, which was led by his own son Fernando VII against him, Carlos IV resigned, but Fernando VII's reign would be short: in May of 1808 Napoleon's troops entered the city. On May 2, 1808 (Spanish: Dos de Mayo) the Madrileños revolted against the French forces, whose brute reaction would have a lasting impact on French rule in Spain and France's image in Europe in general.

An 1888 German map of Madrid

After the war of independence (1814) Fernando VII came back to the throne, but after a liberal military revolution, Colonel Riego made the king swear respect to the Constitution. This would start a period where liberal and conservative government alternated, that would end with the enthronement of Isabel II (1830-1904). She could not calm down the political tension that would lead to yet another revolt, the First Spanish Republic, and the comeback of the monarchs, which eventually led to the Second Spanish Republic and the Spanish Civil War. The military uprising of July 1936 was defeated in Madrid by a combination of loyal police units and workers' militias. After this, from 1936-1939, Madrid was held by forces loyal to the Spanish Republic and was besieged by Spanish Nationalist and allied troops under Francisco Franco. Madrid, besieged from October 1936, saw a pitched battle in its western suburbs in November of that year and eventually fell to the nationalists on March 28 1939. The Siege of Madrid saw the first mass bombing of civilians from the air by German aircraft of the Condor Legion.

During the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, especially after the sixties, the south of Madrid became very industrialized and there were massive migrations from rural environments into the city. Madrid's south-eastern periphery became an extensive slum settlement, which was the base for an active cultural and political frame.

After the death of Franco, emerging democratic parties (including those of left-wing and republican ideology) accepted Franco's wishes of being succeeded by Juan Carlos I--in order to secure stability and democracy--which led Spain to its current position as a constitutional monarchy.

Puerta de Europa buildings, from 1996

Befitting from the prosperity it gained in the 1980s, the capital city of Spain has consolidated its position as the leading economic, cultural, industrial, educational, and technological center on the Iberian peninsula.

On 11 March 2004, Madrid was hit by a terrorist attack when terrorists placed a series of bombs on multiple trains during the rush hour. This was the worst massacre in Spain since the end of the civil war in 1939. At first the Basque separatists ETA were blamed but it was later revealed that Islamic terrorists were to blame. The Partido Popular, now in opposition, as well as certain media outlets such as El Mundo newspaper and a small percentage of the population, continue to support theories relating the attack to a vast conspiracy to remove them from power. These theories consider that the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), ETA as well as members of the security forces and national and foreign secret services were implicated in the bombings. Nevertherless, all the investigations carried out by Del Olmo Judge in Madrid lead all suspicions towards a local terrorist Islamist cell (which mainly resided in the "barrio" of Lavapies) that wanted to punish the Spanish government for their implication in the Iraq war, as the terrorists themselves asserted in some video tapes found at the Madrid Muslim Mosque in the aftermath of the attacks.

Madrid has also expressed its desire to host the Olympic Games, and was a candidate for the 2012 games, which was finally won by London after Madrid was eliminated in the third round of the ballot. Immediately following the announcement of London's success, the mayor of the city, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, spoke of bidding for the 2016 games, and in 2007 Madrid formally announced its candidature. Again they got eliminated in the third round, this time to Rio de Janeiro.

References

  1. ^ "El Madrid Medieval (Medieval Madrid). Includes Pre-historic, roman and medieval up to the Catholic Monarchs times." (in Spanish). History of Madrid.. José Manuel Castellanos. http://elmadridmedieval.jmcastellanos.com/. Retrieved 2007-10-28.  
  2. ^ Un Madrid insólito: Guía para dejarse sorprender, pg. 39-40. Jesús Callejo. Editorial Complutense, 2001. ISBN 84-7491-630-5. The book however talks about Leon V of Armenia.
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File:Madrid muralla
Ruins of Madrid's Muslim wall, built in the 9th century

Although the site of modern-day Madrid (Spain) has been occupied since prehistoric times, and there are archeological remains of a small visigoth village near the modern location, [1] the first historical data from the city comes from the 9th century, when Muhammad I of Cordoba ordered the construction of a small palace in the same place that is today occupied by the Palacio Real. Around this palace a small citadel, al-Mudayna, was built. Near that palace was the Manzanares, which the Muslims called al-Majrīṭ (Arabic: المجريط, "source of water"). From this came the naming of the site as Majerit, which was later rendered to the modern-day spelling of Madrid). The citadel was conquered in 1085 by Alfonso VI of Castile in his advance towards Toledo. He reconsecrated the mosque as the church of the Virgin of Almudena (almudin, the garrison's granary). In 1329, the Cortes Generales first assembled in the city to advise Ferdinand IV of Castile. Sephardic Jews and Moors continued to live in the city until they were expelled at the end of the 15th century.

In 1383, Leon VI of Armenia was named Lord of Madrid by King John I of Castile[2]. In 1375, the crusader Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia had been conquered by Egyptian Mamluks and Leon V was taken prisoner to Cairo. The king of Castile felt compassion for him and ransomed him with precious stones, silks, and birds of prey. Leon Lusignan arrived ill and poor to Medina del Campo. John I granted him for life the town of Madrid, Villa Real and Andújar and a yearly gift of 150,000 maravedis. He rebuilt the towers of the Royal Alcazar. According to Father Mariana, Leon left Castile for France after the death of his protector in 1390 and died in 1391 in Paris. Federico Bravo, however states that he left after two years of ruling and five years later, the Madrilenians were conceded the revocation of the lordship by John. After troubles and a big fire, Henry III of Castile (1379-1406) rebuilt the city and established himself safely fortified outside its walls in El Pardo, after a royal schedule issued in 1391. To avoid cases like that of Leon, he ordered that Madrid would be thereinafter an unalienable possession of the Crown of Castile.

The grand entry of Ferdinand and Isabella to Madrid heralded the end of strife between Castile and Aragon.

Toledo, and Aragón, with its capital at Barcelona, were welded into modern Spain by Charles I of Spain. Though Charles favored Madrid, it was his son, Philip II (1527-1598) who moved the court to Madrid in 1561. Although he made no official declaration, the seat of the court was the de facto capital. Seville continued to control the Spanish Indies, but Madrid controlled Seville. Aside from a brief period, 1601-1606, when King Philip III installed his court in Valladolid, Madrid's fortunes have closely mirrored those of Spain. During the Siglo de Oro (Golden Century), in the 16th/17th century, Madrid had no resemblance with other European capitals: the population of the city was economically dependent on the business of the court itself.

File:Madrid
Fountain of Cybele, from 1792, at Plaza de Cibeles

Philip V decided that a European capital could not stay in such a state, and new palaces (including the Palacio Real de Madrid) were built during his reign. However, it would not be until Charles III (1716-1788) that Madrid would become a modern city. Charles III was one of the most popular kings in the history of Madrid, and the saying "the best mayor, the king" became popular during those times. When Charles IV (1748-1819) became king the people of Madrid revolted. After the Mutiny of Aranjuez, which was led by his own son Ferdinand VII against him, Charles IV resigned, but Ferdinand VII's reign would be short: in May of 1808 Napoleon's troops entered the city. On May 2, 1808 (Spanish: Dos de Mayo) the Madrileños revolted against the French forces, whose brute reaction would have a lasting impact on French rule in Spain and France's image in Europe in general.

File:Karte Madrid
An 1888 German map of Madrid.

After the war of independence (1814) Ferdinand VII came back to the throne, but after a liberal military revolution, Colonel Riego made the king swear respect to the Constitution. This would start a period where liberal and conservative government alternated, that would end with the enthronement of Isabellla II (1830-1904). She could not calm down the political tension that would lead to yet another revolt, the First Spanish Republic, and the comeback of the monarchs, which eventually led to the Second Spanish Republic and the Spanish Civil War. The military uprising of July 1936 was defeated in Madrid by a combination of loyal police units and workers' militias. After this, from 1936-1939, Madrid was held by forces loyal to the Spanish Republic and was besieged by Spanish Nationalist and allied troops under Francisco Franco. Madrid, besieged from October 1936, saw a pitched battle in its western suburbs in November of that year and eventually fell to the nationalists on March 28 1939. The Siege of Madrid saw the first mass bombing of civilians from the air by German aircraft of the Condor Legion.

[[File:|thumbnail|180px|left|The Metropolis Building in Gran Via.]]

During the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, especially after the sixties, the south of Madrid became very industrialized and there were massive migrations from rural environments into the city. Madrid's south-eastern periphery became an extensive slum settlement, which was the base for an active cultural and political frame.

After the death of Franco, emerging democratic parties (including those of left-wing and republican ideology) accepted Franco's wishes of being succeeded by Juan Carlos I - in order to secure stability and democracy - which led Spain to its current position as a constitutional monarchy.

Befitting from the prosperity it gained in the 1980s, the capital city of Spain has consolidated its position as the leading economic, cultural, industrial, educational, and technological center on the Iberian peninsula.

On 11 March 2004, Madrid was hit by a terrorist attack when terrorists placed a series of bombs on multiple trains during the rush hour. This was the worst massacre in Spain since the end of the civil war in 1939. At first the Basque separatists ETA were blamed but it was later revealed that Islamic terrorists were to blame. The Partido Popular, now in opposition, as well as certain media outlets such as El Mundo newspaper and a small percentage of the population, continue to support theories relating the attack to a vast conspiracy to remove them from power. These theories consider that the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), ETA as well as members of the security forces and national and foreign secret services were implicated in the bombings. Nevertherless, all the investigations carried out by Del Olmo Judge in Madrid lead all suspicions towards a local terrorist Islamist cell (which mainly resided in the "barrio" of Lavapies) that wanted to punish the Spanish government for their implication in the Iraq war, as the terrorists themselves asserted in some video tapes found at the Madrid Muslim Mosque in the aftermath of the attacks.

Madrid has also expressed its desire to host the Olympic Games, and was a candidate for the 2012 games, which was finally won by London after Madrid was eliminated in the third round of the ballot. Immediately following the announcement of London's success, the mayor of the city, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, spoke of bidding for the 2016 games, and in 2007 Madrid formally announced its candidature. Again they got eliminated in the third round, this time to Rio de Janeiro.

References

  1. ^ "El Madrid Medieval (Medieval Madrid). Includes Pre-historic, roman and medieval up to the Catholic Monarchs times." (in Spanish). History of Madrid.. José Manuel Castellanos. http://elmadridmedieval.jmcastellanos.com/. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  2. ^ Un Madrid insólito: Guía para dejarse sorprender, pg. 39-40. Jesús Callejo. Editorial Complutense, 2001. ISBN 84-7491-630-5. The book however talks about Leon V of Armenia.


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