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Madrid, Spain
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    Founded in the ninth century
    Proclaimed capital of Spain in 1561 by Felipe II
    Patron saint is San Isidro
    Derived loosely from the Arabic al-Majrit (‘source of water')
    Served by Barajas International Airport
    Notable ‘madrileños' (natives or residents of Madrid) include Placido Domingo and Rebecca Loos
    Hosted the 1982 FIFA World Cup Final
    Home of the Real Madrid soccer and basketball clubs
    Namesake for the Madrid system used in trademark registration
    While it appealed to him for being dead-center of Spain, others believed Felipe II chose it for its excellence of hunting.
    Under the reign of Francisco Franco, the southeast periphery turned into a major slum area.
    Some of its Metro lines run in a continuous loop.
    It has a liberal stance on noise pollution.
    Some 200 people died and some 2000 were injured in the commuter bombing of March 11, 2004 (sometimes called 11/3 or 11-M). The following day, the government organized a demonstration against the bombings — against the wrong group!
    Nightlife is usually about eating after 9 PM, dancing after midnight, and sleeping after daybreak.
    The Dos de Mayo festivities (May 2) honor the rebellion of 1808 against French occupation.
    The first railway line was built in the mid-1800s, while the first subway line came at the end of the 1910s.
    The south part of the city saw an industrial boom during the waning years of the Franco regime.
    The Paseo del Arte is the site of its three major museums, within half a mile of each other.
    The Bosque de los Ausentes (‘Forest of the Departed') is a memorial monument honoring the victims of the train bombings. The surviving madrileños had almost no interest in payback.
    The wedding of Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz that May was the first headline event since the bombings.
    Pope John Paul II inaugurated the Almudena Cathedral – which took over a century to build – in 1993.
    ‘La colmena' (The Beehive) and ‘Amantes' (Lovers) are films set in 1950s Madrid.
    Pedro Almodóvar captured the anarchic subculture of Madrid beautifully through ‘Pepi Luci Bom y otras chicas del montón (and Other Girls on the Heap).'
    New York State named one of its own towns for it.

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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