Madrid History – To list all the events that have shaped the capital city of Spain throughout the years would be an enormous task. Instead, we have focused on the two most prominent aspects of Madrid’s history: Medieval and Contemporary Madrid.
Madrid has had a colourful history, and things such as the two buildings in the Plaza de la Villa, which date from the Middle Ages, exemplify this. The buildings are called the Casa (house) and the Torre (tower) de los Lujanes (15th century), where King Francis I of France was held prisoner following the Battle of Pavia.
The building to the right of it, with a Mudejar doorway, in the Hemeroteca Municipal contains more than seventy thousand bound volumes of newspapers, which were printed in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is well worth a visit.
Madrid has undergone countless changes over the last fifty years, not only in the extension of its buildings, but also in its way of life. Madrid was a Castilian town both in appearance and in its customs up until the ‘Gay Twenties’.
Now, there are many examples of contemporary architecture through the city. Buildings such as the old Ministry of Agriculture in Atocha, the Banco Central Hispanoamericano and Fine Arts Club (Bellas Artes) in the Calle Alcalá all lay testament to the ever changing face of Madrid. The Plaza Picasso on the Casteliana and the Vaguada provide another two examples of modern and fashionable structural design.