10 Fantastically Fun Facts About Madrid

In2Spanish » 10 Fantastically Fun Facts About Madrid


That Madrid is not only an absolutely vibrant city with open-minded people? There are also some really surprising Fun Facts about Madrid you might not know yet. We will expose some of them to you!

How did the name “Madrid” arise?

A Moorish castle was built in 886 where the Madrid royal palace is located today. At that time people called the area around the castle ‘magerit’. Afterwards, in 939, the region was called ‘Madschrit’ and in 1083 the name Madrid arose from it, at this time the population was under Castilian control.

Madrid’s highlight took place in 1588. The city was announced to be the official capital of Spain. Except for the years 1601 to 1606 it was this continuously until today. Can you imagine?


El Rastro – Bloody origins of El Rastro

El Rastro market in the district of La Latina is one of the best-known and oldest outdoor market in Madrid, dating back to 1740. Some years ago, merchants and craftsmen left a “trail of blood” from dragging cows from the slaughterhouse down to the tanneries in Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, where they processed the leather. It began with tanners (‘el curtidor’ in Spanish), bakers and rag and bone men selling clothes and antiques to dealers. Afterwards in the nineteenth century, the first antique shops began to appear.


Madrid and its endless escalators to reach different metro stations

The Spanish capital Madrid has 1,656 escalators and thus the most in all metro systems in the world.

When changing lines from Plaza de España to the line 2, it requires you about 10 minutes with passing at least more than 5 different escalators.


The Souvenir from Madrid; a comb?

At Plaza Mayor there is a red building, the "Posada del Peine" or "Hostel of the Ridge". It all began in 1610, when a family father decided to build a hostel for travellers who came through Madrid. In each room there was a comb that became a highly valued object. Guests always took a comb with them as a souvenir and so the owners of the hostel had to tie the combs with a rope so that they did not always disappear. “Oh, it is for free? I will take all of them!”

Looking for the man of your dreams? Blood can help!

The 15th of May is supposed to give Spanish single women special luck in love - when they leave a drop of blood in a jar in the chapel Ermita de San Isidro in Madrid on this day. In addition to that, if you drink the water of the chapel on this day, it will heal your illnesses, at least that's what they say.

The safe of the Spanish bank

It is said that the vault of the Bank of Spain (Banco de España) is located under the fountain at Plaza de Cibeles in the centre of Madrid. From the series “La Casa de Papel” we know that as soon as someone breaks in, the water of the fountain should automatically flood the underground safe.


Diabolical coincidence

Exactly 666 m above sea level there is a statue of “Ángel Caído” (“Fallen Angel”) in the Retiro Park in Madrid, who got exiled from Paradise, the devil. Very suitable!


Palacio Real

The Spanish king does not live in this breathtaking building, although it is the official royal residence. Instead, he lives in the west of Madrid in another palace, the Palacio de la Zarzuela, which is much more modest than the Palacio Real. Since 1967, only state ceremonies take place in the Palacio Real.


Why are Madrilenian people called “gatos”?

What do Madrilenos’ and ’Gatos’ (cats) have in common? They both share late sleeping habits for sure… but also because of the legend of the Arab soldier who climbed the outer walls of the great city with the nimbleness of a cat. Therefore, they are called ‘Gatos’, because of their swift, agile movements.

"Madrid – Barcelona" has the most flights worldwide per week


Come and explore more hidden fun facts of Madrid and its beautiful culture of Spain by yourself!

To Madrid and its zest of life!

A trip to Madrid permits total immersion in the language and culture.

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Author: Thanh Truc Bui