[[caption-width-right:350:A night view of the Madrid skyline, taken from a building at Calle de Juan de Olías. The picture features the AZCA business park; the Torre Picasso is the skyscraper with the architectural equivalent of PowerGlows.]]

As TheOtherWiki reads, Madrid is the third-largest city and metropolitan area of the European Union and also happens to be the capital city of Spain, and the largely discussed center of the iberian peninsula, mostly by historical tensions between France-like political centralists and both left-leaning and conservative elites mainly in Barcelona or even Lisbon.

Unlike most other European capitals, Madrid wasn't always the capital of Spain, as, although academical and political discussion about when Spain actually became Spain exists, the truth is that there wasn't a capital for Spain before the Habsburgs (namely, Charles I) who settled for Madrid as a political and economic gravity center as it was becoming custom in their native HRE (Though, political centralism in the HRE never actually existed, and was mainly both a goal and a pain in the ass for the late Charles I (V of Germany), along with religious uniformity, thus starting quite a few wars).

Before the Habsburgs reign, there was no thing as a capital city as the court moved to wherever the kings (namely, the Catholic Monarchs) were at the time, thus becoming ''de facto'' capital. Otherwise, Toledo is often regarded as a ''De jure'' capital in pre-imperial times due to it being the capital of Gothic Spain, before the moorish invasion, but was not really enforced after the fall of Granada.

So, by the 1500s, Madrid was just a castle with overgrown surroundings that was mainly born as a garrison on the Muslim-Christian border, while Toledo, Cordoba and Granada were the largest cities in Spanish-controlled Iberian Peninsula (the first for its historical significance for Christians and the latter two for being of same significance, one being former cultural and academical center under Moorish rule, eventually becoming Christian, [[TheRemnant and the other being the last city and capital of the Moorish remnants]] until its surrender to the Catholic Monarchs in 1492).

Valladolid (the cultural and political center of Castile) and Toledo (the cultural and political center of former visigothic Spain, and so that of the territories acquired by Castile from the Moors, aptly named New Castile) were regarded as possible settling for a capital, but Madrid was chosen because it was equally distanced to both north, south, east and [[Portugal "West"]] and, probably, because it allowed to build a city from scratch.

Capital was moved to Valladolid under Felipe III, which managed to cause an economic and demographical meltdown in Madrid as well as a kind of cultural-political thriving in Valladolid, wich fell apart once the crown's seat was reverted to Madrid under certain political schemes and political unrest, [[WhatAnIdiot which caused a similar meltdown in Valladolid and is regarded as a disastrous and bad move altogether]].

Madrid's growth was substantially slow compared to other European capitals, and only skyrocketed after the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar, where it got the bulk of the industrialisation after the Eisenhower-Franco agreements of 1959.

Prior to that, Madrid had been mainly populated by [[SleazyPolitician societal elites]], [[TheBeautifulElite aristocrats]] and the [[GeneralRipper military higher ranks]] as well as [[RoyallyScrewedUp the royals]], all of them [[RealityEnsues getting]] [[BreakTheHaughty severely broken]] by the time the war started, [[FromBadToWorse and got worse during the war]]

Today, Madrid is considered an Alpha World City, one of the top ten most powerful cities in the world, and is usually regarded in spanish media and culture in three flavors:

!!'''The Welcoming Capital'''

In this setting, the usual saying "''De Madrid al cielo''" (From Madrid to heaven) applies,
''Madrileños'' are friendly and welcoming, and won't ask you uncomfortable questions about anything as long as you dont disturb anybody, there is work for everybody who wants one, and [[CityOfAdventure is a rich city full of opportunities to enrich yourself culturally, academically, profesionally or socially, and get a grown-up person]]. While TruthInTelevision, at least when envisioned by rural folks both in TheFifties or even in [[TheNineties the early Nineties]] as well as some South American media, this is ''deconstructed as early as the 19th Century'' and comes across as an UnbuiltTrope regarding media, while ''coplas'' y ''zarzuelas'' (Traditional music) very usually plays this straight.

!!'''The Frivolous Bunch'''

Allegedly, film director Alex de la Iglesia claimed "Madrid is the sort of place where you realize if the world doesn't come to an end today, it surely will happen tomorrow". This is where dreams go to die, the full place is a WretchedHive populated by [[StepfordSmiler emptied-out nouveau rich]], [[CorruptCorporateExecutive morally lacking CEOs]], [[SleazyPolitician self-serving public authorities]] where all of them will smile and greet at you unless you fall from grace and be damned to share space with the lower classes, which are usually portrayed as [[KickTheDog poorer than dirt, sexually deviant, struggling white trash who usually are also drug addicts]] [[UpToEleven with AIDS]][[note]]Spanish film industry had a tendency to shoehorn every known social issue in a limited number of characters, in order to show their consciousness or realism about the issues portrayed, which, while anvilicious, comes as an unfortunate ContrivedCoincidence of misery[[/note]]


* Anything set during the SpanishCivilWar as well as during TheForties and TheFifties ''will'' be a CrapsackWorld. Also TruthInTelevision.


* [[Flim/TheLastCircus Balada Triste de Trompeta]] by the aforementioned Alex de la Iglesia, a very, very, ''very'' dark and twisted portrayal of the city, and, by extension, Spanish society starting with the last shots of the SpanishCivilWar to the last breath of [[UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco Franco]] forty years later. Franco, himself, makes a cameo and is [[NiceGuy arguably the nicest character in the film]], [[EvenEvilHasStandards which is saying something]].`
** By the same director: ''El Día de la Bestia''. A Basque priest travels to Madrid and becomes evil in order to contact Satan, as he has learned he will spawn TheAntichrist in the city on December 25th, 1993 with help of a Satanic heavy metal-rabid fan (who is a hopeless loser who lives with his racist mother, her naive twenty-something tenant and his mentally disabled grandfather) and a TV Occult Guru who sells books on making a DealWithTheDevil and teach Satanism ''on TV'' but is secretly a fraud. All while the city is gang-crime rotten. People keeps dying, nobody cares. All PlayedForLaughs. Also, Pedro Solbes, who was a Minister for Economy and Finances both in the [[TheNineties early Nineties]] and the late [[TheNewTens New Tens]] makes a cameo by way of stock footage in an appliance store [[HilariousInHindsight while the TV guru appears]] [[HarsherInHindsight next to him to]] [[FunnyAneurysmMoment announce the impending apocalypse]].


!!'''The Mixed Thing'''

This portrayal tries to make a balanced point toning down the former two and alternating between like a darker aspects, this is the most common portrayal for more light-hearted works wich still
try to make serious points from time to time.

!!Sights you might be interested in seeing while you’re there include:
* The Golden Triangle of Art, three museums that hold the masterpieces of many famous artists: the Prado (considered the second most important art museum in the world after the Louvre of Paris, it contains "Las Meninas" by Velazquez), the Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Reina Sofía (which contains the "Guernica" by Picasso).
* The Royal Palace, official residence of the Kings of Spain and built on the site of the fortress that founded Madrid.
* The Puerta del Sol ("the Sun's Gate"), a square in the center of the city with a UsefulNotes/{{Hachiko}}-esque statue of a bear and a strawberry tree, symbol of the city and a popular meeting place. It's also very popular for being in the geographical center of the country, and the starting point of most of its radial-like road and highway network (Also known as the "Km. Zero"). One of Madrid's biggest icons.
* The Retiro, the main city park with a rowing pond.
* The Plaza de las Ventas, the city’s main bullring.

Getting around is unusually easy because the Madrid Metro is the 6th longest in the world, despite serving the world's 50th largest metropolitan area.