What Is The Capital Of Spain?

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what is the capital of Spain

The capital of Spain is Madrid. Spain’s bustling capital reigns as the country’s largest city with 3.3 million residents. Located in the centre of Spain, this 604.3 square kilometre city rests on the Manzanares River, serving as the heart of both the country and the Community of Madrid, a region that incorporates the city itself along with its suburbs and neighbouring villages. Castile and León and Castile-La Mancha border the Community of Madrid. Let’s jump right into the capital of Spain. 

Overview of Madrid: The Capital of Spain

Madrid has more to it than you can imagine. Beyond its vibrant culture and central location, Madrid has a prestigious reputation as the 17th most livable city globally according to Monocle magazine’s 2014 index. 

The city is a hub for international organizations, housing the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the SEGIB, the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), and the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB). 

What Is The Capital Of Spain, Madrid
Source- comunidad.madrid

Furthermore, Madrid serves as a champion of the Spanish language, hosting major institutions like the Standing Committee of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), the Cervantes Institute, and the Foundation of Urgent Spanish (Fundéu BBVA).

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Brief History of Madrid

Madrid’s history goes back to the 9th century when an Arab town was built around a castle. The town was captured by Christians in 1083 and gradually grew into a big city. 

Under the Habsburg monarchs, Madrid expanded rapidly and many landmarks were built, such as the Plaza Mayor. The Bourbon kings continued the development of the city. 

Madrid king
Bourbon Kings of Madrid
  • Charles III is especially remembered for his contributions, including the Puerta de Alcalá and the Botanic Garden. 
  • The city suffered during the Napoleonic Wars and the Spanish Civil War, but it recovered and kept growing in the 20th century. 
  • Today, Madrid is a major tourist attraction and a cultural centre.

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Demography of Madrid

The demographical distribution of Madrid, as of 2020 is as follows:-

Area604.3 km²
Population Density5,337 inhabitants/km²
Rank in Spain (by Population)1 (Largest City)
Rank in European Union (by Population)2 (Most Populous City Proper)

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Geography of Madrid

Madrid’s location on a central plateau creates hot summers and cold winters. 

Its architecture reflects its history, with a mix of old plazas, stately buildings, and modern high-rises. Cramped spaces were once common due to limited land and city walls. 

What Is The Capital Of Spain, Madrid
Source- Azure Sky Falls

Madrid has distinct quarters, with wealthier areas traditionally uphill and poorer areas by the river. Despite pollution and traffic, Madrid offers parks and a charming personality.

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Economy of Madrid

Before becoming the capital of Spain, Madrid wasn’t a major industrial or trade center. 

  • Its economy focused on serving the needs of its growing population, government, and royalty. This included activities like banking and publishing.
Source- Quora
  • A large industrial sector only emerged in the 20th century.
  • Now, the service sector is becoming increasingly dominant in Madrid’s economy.

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Culture of Madrid

Madrid is the core of Spain’s culture. So it is bombarded with culture-rich vibe. 

  • Madrid’s culture blends its historic significance, vibrant capital status, artistic prominence, diverse food scene, and festive spirit.
  • Locals take pride in their city and embrace newcomers, creating a multicultural atmosphere.
  • Three world-renowned museums – El Prado, Reina Sofía, and Thyssen-Bornemisza – house masterpieces from Spanish and European artists.
  • Explore historic sites from Spain’s past, many of which are still used today.
Source- Culture Belly

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Facts About Madrid

We will end with some facts about the capital of Spain –

  1. Madrid has an impressive Royal Palace, the largest royal palace in Western Europe.
  1. Art lovers will be in paradise. Madrid is home to the “Golden Triangle of Art,” consisting of three world-renowned museums: El Prado (Spanish and European art), Reina Sofía (modern and contemporary art), and Thyssen-Bornemisza (diverse collection across centuries).
  1. Despite its bustling city life, Madrid surprisingly offers ample green spaces. From sprawling parks like El Retiro to the Casa de Campo hunting ground turned public park.
Source- A Summer Story
  1. Get ready to jazz up your taste buds! Madrid’s international food scene caters to all palates. From traditional tapas bars to Michelin-starred restaurants, the city offers a delightful culinary adventure.
  1. Madrid is famous for its endless fiestas! Throughout the year, the city comes alive with vibrant celebrations, from the festive atmosphere of Christmas markets to the electrifying energy of summer music festivals.


Does Spain have two capitals?

No! Spain has only one capital which is known as Madrid. 

Are Barcelona and Madrid the capital of Spain?

No the capital of Spain is only Madrid and not Barcelona. The latter is the biggest city in Spain.

Why is Spain famous?

Spain is enchanted with its vibrant culture, flavorful cuisine, and stunning landmarks like Sagrada Familia and Alhambra.

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Now we hope you are clear on what is the capital of Spain. For more such content, visit our general knowledge page. 

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