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Madrid, 10 fun facts about this amazing city

Madrid is also known as the New York of Spain. And we totally understand that, because Madrid really is a grand, beautiful and vibrant city.

Madrid is centrally located in the inlands of Spain. And although you will not find the beaches here, for which Spain is known, Madrid has still conquered the hearts of many tourists.

We have listed a few interesting facts about Madrid for you.

Madrid is the second largest city in the European Union.

With over 3.2 million inhabitants, Madrid is the second largest city in the European Union. Only Berlin, with more than 3.5 million inhabitants, has more inhabitants than Madrid.

Madrid has lost the title of being the capital of Spain several times.

Madrid was given the title of being the capital of Spain during the 16th century. King Philip II moved his court from Toledo to Madrid during this period, making Madrid the capital of Spain. Madrid probably received this title because of its central location in the heart of Spain, but there are also rumors that the wife of King Philip II did not like the climate of Toledo and that the whole court moved to Madrid for that reason. The exact reason why Madrid became the capital of Spain is therefore not entirely clear.

Over the centuries, Madrid has lost the title of being the capital several times. The last time was in 1936 when Valencia was briefly allowed to bear the title of capital. However, Valencia was only allowed to enjoy this for 11 months before the title of being the capital of Spain was once again returned to Madrid.

Madrid is the highest capital in the European Union

Located at 667 meters above sea level, Madrid is the highest capital of the European Union.

And with this high location, it is the second highest capital in Europe. The only capital in Europe that lies higher than Madrid is Andorra la Vella, the capital of Andorra. Andorra is a microstate in southwestern Europe and is located between the border of Spain and France in the Pyrenees.

Madrid has one of the cutest coats of arms

Madrid may have the cutest coats of arms in Europe. The coat of arms of Madrid is in fact a bear reaching for a tree, a strawberry tree. You can see a statue of this coat of arms in the Puerta del Sol square.

It is not entirely clear exactly how the coat of arms of Madrid originated. Several centuries ago, Madrid had a flag with a bear on it. When and why the strawberry tree was added to the flag is not clear.

Madrid has the largest royal palace in Western Europe

Madrid has a huge royal palace. The Royal Palace of Madrid has no fewer than 3,418 rooms. The palace is used by the Spanish king. Today, the King of Spain no longer lives in this Palace and it is only used for business and ceremonial gatherings. The Royal Palace of Madrid as it stands today was built in the 18th century, after the previous palace burned down completely during a fire on Christmas Eve in 1734. The fire lasted no less than 4 days and completely destroyed the Moorish palace that arose.

Madrid is a popular movie location

A large number of movies have been shot on the streets of Madrid. Perhaps the most recent and well-known is Netflix's Casa de Papel, also called Money Heist. Other well-known films are Pain and Glory and The Others. But the list of movies filmed in Madrid is of course much longer.

Madrid has a monument to the devil

Madrid may well be the only city in the world that has a monument to the devil. The monument is a fountain which is located in Retiro Park. It stands for the fallen angel who was banished from paradise and dates back to 1877.

Madrid has as many restaurants as New York

I think it's a special fact that Madrid has as many restaurants as New York. Both Madrid and New York have about 11,000 restaurants if we have to believe Tripadvisor. Of course, Madrid offers a variety of restaurants, just like New York, but the most well-known and beloved restaurants are probably the large number of tapas restaurants in Madrid and throughout entire Spain of course.

Madrid has the oldest restaurant in the world

Madrid is home to the oldest restaurant in the world, Sobrino de Botin. This restaurant was founded in 1725, making it the oldest restaurant in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The restaurant fully lives up to its old age and when you walk in here you really go back in time with the old tiles and the decoration. This restaurant in Madrid even still uses the same old wood oven as it did several centuries ago.

Madrid has a museum in honor of a mouse

Madrid has a museum complete and only in honor of a mouse, but a very special mouse. This museum in Madrid is all about the mouse Ratoncito Perez. Ratoncito Perez is the Spanish story for the tooth fairy. In 1902 the story of Ratoncito Perez was published and since then Spanish children have been told that when they lose their baby teeth, Ratoncito Perez comes to collect the teeth.

The museum is located in the same building where Ratoncito Perez lived with his family, according to the story of Luis Coloma. In this museum you will find everything about this famous mouse, but also the milk teeth of some very famous people, including Beethoven.

Planning a city trip to Madrid and looking for some things to do, click HERE.

We also shared some other blogs with you about Madrid, you can check them out HERE.


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