Madrid architecture history (part 1)

As already I said in the entry of the week of the architecture, I would like to do an architectural analysis of my city, Madrid. It’s going to be a summary (very summarized) of the history of Madrid, but I’m going to try that the most important thing isn’t absent. =)

Today, Madrid possesses a population of 3.265.038 of inhabitants (2011) and a population in his metropolitan area of 7.1 million persons, which does of Madrid the third city with more inhabitants of Europe, behind Berlin and London.

But not always it has been like that. His history goes back, according to new findings, to before the romans. In Madrid there have lived roman, jews, muslims and a length etc of cultures, which have been leaving throughout the centuries his architectural stamp in the city. But Madrid starts receiving interest really in the Middle Ages.

The first accessions in Madrid go back to the Pleistocene, and his architecture doesn’t differ from any other one from the epoch in the Iberian peninsula. The visigoth architecture only has representation in the north of the peninsula, in Andalusia they haven’t found remains, for what Madrid places in this frontier line between north and south, for what there is no too much information about of this epoch. During the decadent 8th century, in the city of Madrid, the stones of the Roman constructions are in use for constructing new buildings. It isn’t to the arrival of the Muslims when Madrid begins to bloom. For it, it will be the point of item of the analysis.

Medieval period

When they came, the Muslims found a small walled city. Nonetheless, the strategic situation of Madrid from the commercial point of view, does that they construct a new wall, of which nowadays it stays visible remains. Most of the monumental architecture of the Moslem epoch was constructed in ashlar masonry. Recent studies determine that was constructed in ashlar masonry of silex in the foundations and ashlar masonry of limestone in his later part. about the civil architecture, in Madrid stand out the qanats, which were underground conduits that were bringing water to the city from the mountains and aquiferous nearby.

In the year 1083 Madrid is conquered by the Crown of Castile. A new wall bigger is constructed that the previous one and suburbs begin to arise with his Romanesque parishes. Up to the 14th century Madrid deteriorates considerably.

Renaissance period

Under the reign of the Catholics Kings, in Madrid administrative buildings are constructed in major measure. In the first half of the 16th century a mixture of styles exists, being still very present the Moslem architecture. This is the mozarabic style. Of this epoch they are the Hospital de la Latina (the first hospital constructed in the city) and the deceased Palacio del Buen Retiro, who was placed in the park of the same name. During the reign of the emperor Carlos I reforms begin in also deceased Alcázar of Madrid. The works extended untill the reign of his son, the King Felipe II, and they hasten notably when this King moves the captaincy of the country to Madrid. The culminating point of the Renaissance architecture in times of the emperor comes with the construction of the Chapel of the Bishop (Capilla del Obispo) and with the construction of the Palacio del Pardo, to the suburbs of the city, which the King was using when it was going to hunt (and home, more recently, of the dictator Francisco Franco)

I will be adding pieces of this puzzle in the next days, because I think that the entry is becoming a bit long =)

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