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Madrid, calle de Alcalá

Madrid, a general overview

Madrid is the capital of the Kingdom of Spain and largest city of the country. Its economic output, standard of living, and market size, makes Madrid the main financial center; it hosts the head offices of the vast majority of the major companies. As the capital city of Spain, hosts the central government, and the residence of the Spanish King.

Placement and Weather

The region of Madrid has a Mediterranean climate with cool winters [temperatures sometimes drop below 0 °C] with two or three snowfalls each year. Summer tends to be very warm with temperatures that usually surpass 30 °C in July and that can often reach 40 °C. Madrid's high altitude and dry climate means that nightly temperatures tend to be cooler, leading to a lower average in the summer months. Precipitation levels are low. Summer and winter are the driest seasons, with most rainfall occurring in the autumn and spring.

Cultural Life

Madrid is a city of great cultural importance. The town has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighborhoods and streets. Its landmarks include the huge Royal Palace of Madrid; the Teatro Real (Royal theatre) with its restored 1850 Opera House; the Buen Retiro park, founded in 1631; the imposing 19th century National Library building, founded in 1712, containing some of Spain's historical archives; an archaeological museum of international reputation; and three main art museums: Prado Museum, which hosts one of the finest art collections in the world, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, a museum of modern art, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, housed in the renovated Villahermosa Palace.

Art and Design in Madrid

Apart those traditional references, art and design have several places where exhibitions and lectures are programmed. Circulo de Bellas Artes is one of those institutions; since 1880 has celebrated relevant activities in theater, music and visual arts. Since 2007 Matadero Madrid hosts several art and culture institutions with a special focus on Desing in La Central de Diseño.