|What To See
In The Know
Did You Know?
' the least Spanish because it is the most modernised and international, and the most Spanish because of the mixed population which has flowed into it from various regions of Spain, it is a synthesis of them all.'
Archibald Lyall Well Met in Madrid (1960)
In recent years, Madrid has taken second place to Barcelona - its perennial rival as a city - not just in the spheres of culture and influence, but even on the football field. In 1992, when Madrid was European City of Culture, Barcelona reaped the international rewards of hosting the Olympic Games. But at last the pendulum may be swinging back in the capital's favour, thanks to an ambitious renovation programme that is transforming many of the great museums. Yet the city's chief fascination is that day-to-day life seems to have altered little, despite growing dynamism since joining the European Union. Archibald Lyall's observation from the 1960s, that Madrid was both the most Spanish and the least Spanish city on the peninsula, still rings true.