The Mini Rough Guide to Madrid, 2nd Edition

(Rough Guides)

Average vote of 0
| 0 total contributions of which 0 reviews , 0 quotes , 0 images , 0 notes , 0 video
INTRODUCTION

Madrid became Spain’s capital city at the whim of one man, Felipe II. Its site possesses few natural advantages – a fierce climate, no harbour and a poor excuse for a river – but it lies exactly in the centre of Spain,

Madrid became Spain’s capital city at the whim of one man, Felipe II. Its site possesses few natural advantages – a fierce climate, no harbour and a poor excuse for a river – but it lies exactly in the centre of Spain, and in 1561, Felipe decided to base the formerly itinerant court here to avoid giving too much power and status to any one region. In Madrid he created a symbol of the unification and centralization of the country, and a capital from which he could receive the fastest post and communications from each corner of the nation. However, it was only the determination of successive rulers to promote a strong central capital that ensured the city’s survival and development.

Today, Madrid is a large, predominantly modern city, with a population of four million and a highly schizophrenic character. There are, in effect, two cities: "Madrid by day" and "Madrid by night"; the capital is freezing in winter, burning in summer; outwardly flamboyant, yet inwardly conservative; seemingly affluent, yet concealing serious levels of poverty. The highest, sunniest and greenest capital city in Europe – despite being choked with traffic and people – its inhabitants, the Madrileños, modestly declare, "Desde Madrid al Cielo": that after Madrid there is only one destination left – Heaven.

Largely a city of immigrants, it’s difficult to find a person whose real roots are in Madrid, apart from the castizos who proudly exhibit their Madrileño heritage during the San Isidro festival and the summer verbenas (street fairs). As a consequence, the city is a mosaic of traditions, cultures and cuisines and you soon realize that it is the Madrileños themselves who are the capital’s key attraction: hanging out in the cafés or the summer terrazas, packing the lanes of the Rastro flea market, or playing hard and very, very late in a thousand bars, clubs and discos.

The nightlife for which Madrid is renowned is merely an extension of the Madrileño character. Much of their everyday life is acted out in the streets; they dress up whenever possible, never wanting to be seen at anything but their best; and they are noisy – horns blare, TVs are set at full blast and conversations are conducted at top volume. Madrileños consider the nightlife of other European cities positively dull by comparison with that of their own and whatever Barcelona might claim, the Madrid scene, immortalized in the movies of Pedro Almodóvar, remains the most vibrant in the country.

The city which was once accused of provincialism has changed immeasurably in the nearly thirty years since Franco died, initially guided by the late and much-lamented poet-mayor, Tierno Galván. His efforts, including the creation of parks and the renovation of public spaces and public life, have left an enduring legacy, and were a vital ingredient of the Movida Madrileña, the "happening Madrid", with which the city made its mark in the 1980s. Today, ongoing improvements are being made to the transport network, and there are ambitious plans to extend the Paseo de la Castellana – the multi-lane artery road that bisects the city – further north and construct a series of sports facilities as part of a bid for the 2012 Olympics.

The Movida may have gone but Madrid has emerged as a stylish city and important European capital, highly conscious of its image and in better shape than it has been for many years. ...Continua

- TIPS -
Nessun elemento trovato
Aggiungi per primo una recensione!

- TIPS -
Nessun elemento trovato
Aggiungi per primo una citazione!

- TIPS -
Nessun elemento trovato
Aggiungi per primo una immagine!

- TIPS -
Nessun elemento trovato
Aggiungi per primo una nota!

- TIPS -
Nessun elemento trovato
Aggiungi per primo un video!

Lorem Ipsum Color sit Amet
di Nome Autore
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur Suspendisse varius consequat feugiat.
Scheda libro
Aggiungi