Pase Lo Bien En Madrid: Let’s Begin

Initially named ‘Mayrit’ (or Margerit) by Emir Mohammed of Cordoba in the year 854, Madrid was chosen by King Felipe II as the capital of Spain in 1561, which was previously Toledo. Although now a leading European city it began relatively small in scale; with only a few notable medieval churches, such as St Jerome […]

Initially named ‘Mayrit’ (or Margerit) by Emir Mohammed of Cordoba in the year 854, Madrid was chosen by King Felipe II as the capital of Spain in 1561, which was previously Toledo. Although now a leading European city it began relatively small in scale; with only a few notable medieval churches, such as St Jerome and the Bishops Chapel still standing. These structures were dotted around an area primarily populated by white-washed housing and minimal decor. This started to change in the 17th century with escalated efforts to expand and compete on a European stage.

King Carlos III who began his reign in 1759 created many of Madrid’s most iconic structures such as the Palacio Real Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid) and thus aided in creating the Madrid of today; one that is encapsulating. The first half of the 20th Century saw Spain fall under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco who controlled Spain from 1939 to his death in 1975. Through acts, such as sending aid to the German front during the Second World War, Spain was isolated economically for a period of time after the war ended. As Franco aged, censorship began to relax and people began to protest widely in rebuke of this dictator’s political stance.

Protests and demonstrations equally became an important factor of the Spanish financial crisis of 2008. The protests,
collectively known as the 15M movement or the Spanish Revolution, was a globally publicised event in which the popular district of Puerta del Sol became the home of thousands of protestors in 2010; a feat mimicked across the country. People of all walks of life joined together to take a stand against the rising unemployment ratewhich as of January 2014 is estimated to be 26% – as well as other issues ranging from homelessness to welfare. With places such as the Tabacalera, Madrid houses many places that aid in the free practice of arts and allow those who are unemployed or without a home to find comfort within it.
The rich and continuous history of Madrid is palpable simply by walking down a street, or visiting a park or museum; thus ensuring that it is a vital and exhilarating member of Europe.

Team Curso/CTR Madrid
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