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Panorama of Madrid from San Isidro park.

Madrid is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.6 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.7 million. It is the second-largest city in the European Union (EU) after Berlin, and its monocentric metropolitan area is the second-largest in the EU. The municipality covers 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi) geographical area.


  • Beloved soulmate..'ll kiss my ass at least seven times if I manage to convince you from the crazy happiness I got from living here [Madrid].. ..the various insects with their deadly weapons, made of needles and penknives, which, if you don't look out and even if you do, will tear away your flesh and your hair as well.. ..and you can't find a spot far enough away from them to escape their cruelty. This infection is general in every town..
    • Francisco Goya, letter to his friend Don Martin Zapater, Madrid, 25 Feb. 1785; from: 'Francisco de Goya. MS Letters to Martín Zapater 1774-99', Collection of Prado - published as Cartas a Martín Zapater; ed, X. de Salas & M. Agueda, Madrid 1982 #64, p. 130
    • a coded quote from a heavily coded letter, in which Goya indicates his friend several of his clerical critics who decide about church painting commissions. Goya doesn't mention their names but do call their number - and makes no secret of disliking them
  • Madrid is a strange place… I do not believe anyone likes it much when he first goes there. It has none of the look that you expect of Spain… Yet when you get to know it, it is the most Spanish of all cities, the best to live in, the finest people, and month in and month out the finest climate. While other big cities are all very representative of the province they are in, they are either Andalucian, Catalan, Basque, Aragonese, or otherwise provincial. It is in Madrid only that you get the essence… It makes you feel very badly, all question of immortality aside, to know that you will have to die and never see it again.
  • While many of the world's richest people live in London, four of its boroughs rank among the twenty poorest in England, and 27 percent of the city's population live in poverty. London's polarized economic landscape is typical of "superstar" cities. Other leading cities of EuropeOslo, Amsterdam, Athens, Budapest, Madrid, Prague, Riga, Stockholm, Tallinn, Vienna, Vilnius—also suffer widening gaps between the top and the bottom of the social hierarchy.
    • Joel Kotkin, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class (2020), p. 133

Encyclopedic article on Madrid on Wikipedia