Peace & Quiet
Julián López López (1982- ) is the most talked about matador in bullfighting. His youth, skill and rock-solid bravery in front of the biggest bulls bring new fans to the sport. However, El Juli's age has also renewed the controversy over whether bullfighting is a sport or a traditional ritual. Either way, seats to watch the virtuoso are always at a premium.
One king can be thanked for the grand buildings, parks and art galleries of Madrid: Carlos III (1716-88). He opened the Retiro Park and its observatory and commissioned the building which now houses the Prado, the Real Jardín Botánico next door, and the elegant fountains along the Paseos. The ordinary folk of the city also benefitted from a sewage and refuse system, as well as streets that were both paved and lit. No wonder he is remembered as the Rey-Alcalde (the King-Mayor) - perhaps the best mayor the city has ever had.Goya
Every church and museum in Madrid worth its salt has a painting or fresco by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828). A native of Aragón, his talent was soon recognised in Madrid. In 1792, a serious illness not only left him deaf, but also gave a new, hard edge to his work. By 1799, he was court artist to Carlos IV, but his portraits of the royal family were never flattering. As he grew older, he painted his most haunting works. His record of the French massacres in Madrid on 2 and 3 May in 1808, and the despairing 'Black Pictures' dominate the Prado.Juan Carlos I
When Alfonso XIII abdicated in 1931 in favour of the Republic, few believed that Spain would ever have a king again. However, when General Franco died in 1975, Spain reverted to a monarchy. Born in exile in Rome in 1938, Juan Carlos is tenth in the Bourbon line. In 1981 his forceful intervention to prevent a military coup endeared him to the Spanish people. Ever since, thanks to a down-to-earth lifestyle and devotion to duty, his popularity has never been in doubt. His wife, Sofía, is the daughter of King Paul of the Hellenes, and the couple have three children.