Madrid is the capital city of Spain. It is the most populous city and the second-largest city in the European Union (EU).
The city lies on the River Manzanares and is the center of the country and the Community of Madrid. The urban agglomeration of Madrid has the third-largest economy in the European Union. Moreover, because of its strong influence on politics, entertainment, education, media, environment, fashion, science and culture has also gained it the status as one of world’s global cities. The city has a strong sports influence too and is a home to two of football’s world-famous clubs, the Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
Madrid is considered as a major financial center because of its high standard of living, the economic output and the market size. Madrid hosts the headquarters of many of the major Spanish companies. And according to the Monocle magazine’s 2017 index, the city was also rated as the 10th most livable city.
The infrastructure in Madrid is relatively modern, but the city has also managed to preserve the look of many of its historic neighborhoods and streets. Some of the popular landmarks in the city are the Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Royal Theatre, many national museums and other historical landmarks.
The Economy of Madrid city in Spain
After London, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam, Madrid is the 5th important leading center of commerce in Europe.
The industrial development in Madrid started on a large scale in the 20th century, but it grew even more rapidly, in the 1960s, an era also called as the “Spanish miracle”. During this economic boom, the economy of the city was mostly centered on different manufacturing industries related to the motor cycles, aircraft, chemicals, electronic devices, pharmaceuticals, leather goods and many more. After the democracy in the city was restored in the 1970s, the economy is expanding and is also one of the dynamic economies in the European Union.
Madrid has over 17 universities and 30 research centers. It ranks 3rd in the EU by its gross domestic product. The economy of Madrid relies heavily on its service sector. In the year 2011, the service sector accounted for 85.9% of the GDP, while the industry sector contributed 7.9% and the construction sector for 6.1%. Even then, Madrid holds the second position as Spain’s industrial center after Barcelona.
Various services prevalent in Madrid are related to business, transport and communication, property and finances, which together account for 52%. The newly emerging services are that which carry out the movement of capital, information, goods and person and other “advanced business” services like research and development, information technology and technical accountancy.
Finance sector of the city is pretty strong too. The banks in Madrid carry out about 72% of all the banking services in Spain. The Spanish Central Bank or the Bank of Spain has been in the city since 1782. Some of the other important financial markets in the city include stocks and shares, bond markets, insurance and pension funds.
The construction of transport infrastructure has played a major role in maintaining the economic position of Madrid. Work travel and other local journeys use the high-quality metropolitan road network and also a public transport system. The Madrid-Barajas Airport, the fourth-largest airport in Europe also plays an important role in the city’s economy.
Tourism in Madrid is another major industry. Madrid is the home to United Nation’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Most of the city’s tourists are from the United States which is then followed by Italy, France, UK and Germany. In the year 2018, Madrid received 10.21 million tourists, 53% of them being international tourists.
Art and Culture in Madrid –
Madrid is widely known for its art galleries and museums. The best known in the city is the Golden Triangle of Art that is located along the Paseo del Prado. This comprises of three major museums; the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum. The Prado Museum is an art gallery that features world’s finest collections of European art from the 12th century to the 19th century. The art pieces are based on the former Spanish Royal Collection.
The National Archeological Museum of Madrid showcases the archaeological artefacts from pre-historical era to the 19th century. These include the Roman mosaics, Greek ceramics, Islamic art and Romanesque art. Some of the other museums in Madrid are the National Museum of Natural Sciences, the Naval Museum and many others.
Sports has always been in the spirit of Madrid, football above all the sports. Madrid is a home to the La Liga football club giant, the Real Madrid. This football club is one of the most famous and supported clubs in the world. Real Madrid has been selected as the club of the 20th century (FIFA Club of the century), and is currently the leader of the European teams ranking. The Real Madrid club is the worldwide leader with over 26 titles under its belt and is also one of the most valuable teams in the world.
Madrid has hosted four of the European cup/ Championships till date. All said, Madrid is the hotspot of art, culture and economy of Spain!