Peace & Quiet
The Shaping of Madrid
Late 9th century Muhammad I founds a Moorish village outpost called Magerit, 'the place of many springs'. 1083 Alfonso VI, King of Castile and Léon captures Madrid, and gives the locals their nickname of the gatos (cats) because of the numerous cats in the town. 1172 Death of Isidro Merlo y Quintana, aged 90. Later San Isidro Labrador, the labourer, is made patron saint of Madrid. His feast day is 15 May. 1309 Preparing to attack Granada, Fernando IV summons the parliament, the Cortes of Castile, to meet in Madrid for the first time. 1465 King Enrique IV awards Madrid the title of muy noble y muy leal (most noble and loyal). The city has some 20,000 inhabitants. 1477 Having united the kingdoms of Aragón and Castile by their marriage, Fernando and Isabel visit Madrid. 1544 Carlos I calls Madrid imperial y coronada (imperial and crowned). 1556 The first printing press is set up in Madrid. 1561 Felipe II moves his court to Madrid, the geographical centre of the country and now the capital of a vast empire. 1600 Felipe III is the first Spanish king born in Madrid. 1605 The first edition of Cervantes' classic story, El Quijote (Don Quixote), is published. 1613 The first town fire service is set up in Madrid. 1621 Under Felipe IV the arts flourish: artist Diego de Velázquez and playwrights Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca and Tirso de Molina. 1701 Felipe V of Bourbon enters Madrid; the first ruler of a united Spain, the 17-year-old from France speaks no Spanish. 1738 The first stone is laid for Palacio Real (Royal Palace). It is finished in 1764. 1759 Carlos III ascends the throne. Nicknamed the 'best lord Mayor of Madrid', he commissions grand buildings that are now home to the Museo del Prado and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. 1793 Diario de Madrid runs the first newspaper report of a bullfight. 1808 Napoleon's forces occupy Madrid. Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte, is named King José I of Spain. The annual 2 May holiday (2 de mayo) commemorates the Madrid uprising against the French, which also inspires two famous paintings by Goya (now in the Prado). 1814 Madrid is restored to Spanish rule under King Fernando VII. 1819 The Prado opens to the public. 1879 The PSOE (Spanish socialist party) is founded at the Casa Labra bar in Madrid. 1900 The city has one million inhabitants. 1919 The Metro is inaugurated by Alfonso XIII. 1931 Republicans sweep the elections and King Alfonso XIII steps down. 1936-9 The Spanish Civil War takes place. Republican Madrid is besieged by Franco's Nationalist army for three years. 1946 United Nations sanctions against the Franco regime begin. Sanctions remain until 1955. 1960 The city has 2.2 million inhabitants. 1975 Franco dies and Juan Carlos I is Spain's first king since 1931. Modernisation of the city begins. 1980 The city now has three million inhabitants. 1981 Spain's democracy is threatened by a military coup. Order is restored by Juan Carlos I. Picasso's El Guernica is moved to Madrid. 1984 Madrid becomes an autonomous community. 1986 On 1January Spain joins the EEC (EU). 1992 Madrid is the European Capital of Culture. The Arab/Israeli peace conference is held in Madrid.