7 Fun Facts About Madrid

Spain’s capital—and its largest city—has so much to offer for art, history, and food enthusiasts. Here are seven things you should know before heading to beautiful Madrid:

  • Madrid’s Royal Palace is the largest royal palace in Europe, with 3,418 rooms. Today, it no longer functions as a residence and is only used for ceremonies.
Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain
Royal Palace
  • The world’s only public monument to Lucifer is in the Parque del Buen Retiro. Sculpted in 1878 by Ricardo Bellver, it stands at 666 meters above sea level.
Parque del Retiro - Madrid, Spain
Parque del Retiro
Santa María la Real de La Almudena. Madrid Cathedral, Spain
Santa María la Real de La Almudena. Madrid Cathedral, Spain
  • Perhaps the most famous painting in The Prado is Las Meninas, Diego Velazquez’s 1656 masterpiece depicting King Philip IV’s daughter and other members of the royal court.
  • Las Ventas is the largest bullring in Spain, and hosts fights during the bullfighting season (March through October). The Beatles performed there in 1965.
  • The open-air market El Rastro got its name from the trail of blood left by slaughtered cattle being dragged through the market to go to the tanneries (rastro means trail).
  • Real Madrid is the second-richest soccer team in the world, and they’ve won the European Cup a record 13 times. They’ve played at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium since it was built in 1947.

Mad about Madrid? Explore the city and the rest of Spain in our Grand Tour!

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