VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 5 POSTED ON: 3/11/2011
The history of Madrid It was founded in 854 a.d. by the muslim fortification of Magerit, and by which it is yet possible to visit the remains of the walls. The Muslim rule ended definitively in 1132 thanks to the work of the two Kings Ferdinand I of Castile (1047) and Alfonso VI (1083),who destroyed Magerit. The marriage between Isabella of Aragon and Ferdinand of castile in 1474 was very important for Madrid and for the whole of Spain, as this united the two kingdoms and gave a new political stability to the city and the region. The year 1492 was the turning point both for the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, and for the fall of the last Muslim stronghold in Spain. Informations Population: 3,160,000 Area 607 sq km2 Language: Spanish, Castilian Currency: Since 1 January 2002 the Euro was adopted as the national currency Time zone: In the Winter 1 hour ahead GMT, while in the summer with daylight saving, the hours become 2. Religion: The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism Documents: According to the Schengen agreements for EU citizens no document is needed in any case it can be useful to carry an identity card. Places to visit in Madrid Among the sights to visit let’s recall, the “del Prado” Museum, the “Thyssen-Bornemisza” Museum, the arts centre of Queen Sofia (where you can find the famous painting "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso), the “Palacio Real”, the “Puerta del Sol” where the kilometre zero plate is located (used for calculating distances in the Spanish State) and where the people from Madrid gather at the end of each year waiting for the new year by eating a grain of grape for each of the twelve strokes of midnight, the nearby “Plaza Mayor” (where every weekend the numismatic market takes place and over the Christmas period, that of the Nativity), the Retiro Park and in the nearby area the monastery and the palace of the Escorial, Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos and the cities of Toledo, Segovia, Ávila and Aranjuez. One thing to point out especially to the Italian tourists, is the small church dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari, near the Plaza Mayor. Night life Madrid is particularly famous for its nightlife, or “madrileña movida” and its nightclubs, which flourished everywhere after the death of Francisco Franco. Until recent times, it was not too strange for the “madrilènos” to dance all night long, have breakfast with “churros y chocolate”, go home, have a shower and go to work. One of the most vital areas of the city at night is "Barrio de las Letras", which is in the city centre, around “Santa Ana” square and the streets of Santa Ana and Huertas Echegaray. Other areas of interest is the Malasaña area, with an alternative youth public, and the Lavapies area, a multiethnic district, where music is played until dawn. Bullfighting Bullfighting is a popular tradition practiced in various parts of Spain and often in a different manner in Portugal, southern France, some Latin American countries like Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia. In Italy, a kind of bullfight called “giostra dei tori” which was popular in the State of the Church and such events also took place in the famous Macerata’s “sferisterio”. Some Spaniards consider bullfighting a legalized torture, while others consider it an art. The rules are more or less defined even if there may be several differences from case to case. In general three “lidiano” bullfighters challenge one another and against six bulls alternating themselves. At the start of a bullfight all the people who will be involved enter the arena (paseíllo), marching in a parade in front of the public. The two alguaciles or alguacilillos enter, heralds on a horse in seventeenth century costumes who symbolically ask the president (the only judge of the bullfight) the keys to the gate where the bulls come out. Then the three bullfighters followed by their cuadrillas composed of two picadors on horseback, three banderilleros and officers to withdraw the body of the bull after it has been sacrificed. Each toread is then divided into three parts, called tercios. What and where to eat in Madrid. The popular potato tortilla “pastel de Liebrüti” (hare pie) is a popular dish and cooked only by the people of Madrid and they are two symbols of the Madrilena kitchen. There is also the cocido madrilèno: it is a dish which combines with great skills potatoes, vegetables, meat, pork lard and chickpeas. The tortillla: even if you can eat it in all of the places in Spain, the best tortilla is the one from Madrid. Potatoes, eggs, oil and salt. Besugo in the Madrilena way: is an important fish dish. The Tapas of Madrid: the portions are small but very tasty. You can eat many drinking beer, standing in the tapas bar. Desserts: torrijas, huesos de santo, the rosquillas de San Isidro, are prepared on May 15, they are buns with egg white over them. Santiago Bernabéu Santiago Bernabéu Yeste (Almansa, June 8, 1895 - Madrid, June 2, 1978) was a Spanish football player, coach, then president of Real Madrid. He held the most prestigious office in the club and was the oldest president in history of a football team. He was in charge of the construction of the new stadium at Chamartin, which was completed in 1947, and was renamed the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in his honour in 1953. He died during the 1978 Argentine World Cup and in his honour were decreed three days of mourning during the tournament. In 2002 FIFA gave him the post-mortem award "Order of Merit. Moving around in Madrid Madrid airport is Barajas it is located at about 15 km from the capital’s city centre. The airport, international hub, has a transit of about 25 million passengers a year. There are several connections from the airport to the city: By Bus: Direct buses (direction Plaza de Colón) from the airport to the city centre every 20 minutes. The cost is €3.50 and the journey takes about 20 minutes. Metro: Take the pink line (8) until the last stop, Nuevos Ministerios. From there, change to the dark blue line (10), direction Puerta del Sur and get off at Principe Pio. From there take the line towards Opera station, which is the destination. This is the fastest way to reach the centre and a single ticket costs €1.00. A booklet of 10 tickets can also be bought for €6.40 and is valid for 10 trips. Taxi: Taxis are outside the departures terminal. A taxi for a one- way ride costs about €35.
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