As The Other Wiki 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, 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, 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 Spanish Civil War, where it got the bulk of the industrialisation after the Eisenhower-Franco agreements of 1959. Prior to that, Madrid had been mainly populated by societal elites, aristocrats and the military higher ranks as well as the royals, all of them getting severely broken by the time the war started, 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 CapitalIn 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 is a rich city full of opportunities to enrich yourself culturally, academically, profesionally or socially, and get a grown-up person. While Truth in Television, at least when envisioned by rural folks both in The '50s or even in the early Nineties as well as some South American media, this is deconstructed as early as the 19th Century and comes across as an Unbuilt Trope regarding media, while coplas y zarzuelas (Traditional music) very usually plays this straight.
The Frivolous BunchAllegedly, 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 Wretched Hive populated by emptied-out nouveau rich, morally lacking CEOs, 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 poorer than dirt, sexually deviant, struggling white trash who usually are also drug addicts with AIDSnote
- 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 Spanish Civil War to the last breath of Franco forty years later. Franco, himself, makes a cameo and is arguably the nicest character in the film, 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 The Antichrist 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 Deal with the Devil and teach Satanism on TV but is secretly a fraud. All while the city is gang-crime rotten. People keeps dying, nobody cares. All Played for Laughs. Also, Pedro Solbes, who was a Minister for Economy and Finances both in the early Nineties and the late New Tens makes a cameo by way of stock footage in an appliance store while the TV guru appears next to him to announce the impending apocalypse.
The Mixed ThingThis 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 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.