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Madrid

Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be around 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area is the third-largest in the European Union after London and Paris.

Art and Culture

Madrid is considered one of the top European destinations concerning art museums. Best known is the Golden Triangle of Art, located along the Paseo del Prado and comprising three museums.

The most famous one is the Prado Museum, known for such highlights as Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas and Francisco de Goya's La maja vestida and La maja desnuda. The other two museums are the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, established from a mixed private collection, and the Reina Sofia Museum, where Pablo Picasso's Guernica hangs, returning to Spain from New York after more than two decades.

Climate

The Madrid region features a Mediterranean climate with cold winters due to its altitude of (650 m (2,133 ft) above sea level in Alicante), including sporadic snowfalls and minimum temperatures often below freezing. Summers are hot with temperatures that consistently surpass 30 °C (86 °F) in July and August and rarely above 40 °C (104 °F).

Due to Madrid's altitude and dry climate, diurnal ranges are often significant during the summer. Precipitation is concentrated in the autumn and spring. It is particularly sparse during the summer, taking the form of about two showers and/or thunderstorms a month.

Environment

Madrid is the European city with the highest number of trees and green surface per inhabitant and it has the second highest number of aligned trees in the world, with 248,000 units, only exceeded by Tokyo. Madrid's citizens have access to a green area within a 15 minute walk. 



Since 1997, green areas have increased by 16%. At present, 8.2% of Madrid's grounds are green areas, meaning that there are 16 m2 (172 sq ft) of green area per inhabitant, far exceeding the 10 m2 (108 sq ft) per inhabitant recommended by the World Health Organization.



Architecture

Little medieval architecture is preserved in Madrid. We know from historical documents that the city was walled and had a castle (the Alcázar) in the same place where the Royal Palace now stands.

Among the few preserved medieval buildings are the mudejar towers of San Nicolás and San Pedro el Viejo churches, the palace of Luján family (located in the Plaza de la Villa), the Gothic church of St. Jerome, part of a monastery built by the Catholic Monarchs in the 15th century, and the Bishop's Chapel.

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