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.