MADRID

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MADRID ; a city and capital of Spain, in New Castile, and in a province of the same name, on the Manzanares, near the centre of the kingdom, about 200 miles from the sea; 650 miles S. S. W. of Paris, 350 W. by S. of Rome ; Ion. 3° 38' W. ; lat. 40° 25' N. : population, by a census in 1825, 201,344, including strangers. It is situated in a large plain, on several eminences, and is 2200 feet above the level of the sea, being the most elevated capital in Europe. Seen at a distance, it presents nothing that announces a great city, and, the environs being destitute of wood, and even of vines, while most of the villages are in hollows, the prospect is uncommonly dreary. On drawing near, the prospect is more cheerful. The city is of an oblong form, about six miles in circuit, surrounded by a high earthen wall, but has no ditch, or any other means of defence. The old streets are narrow and crooked, but many others are wide, straight and handsome. They are paved, kept clean, and lighted. The city has 15 gates, 42 squares, mostly small, 506 streets, 77 churches, 75 convents, 8 colleges, and 18 hospitals, 65 public edifices, Y7 fountains, and several promenades, among which the Prado is the principal. The private houses are uniform, generally low, with grated windows, and have little striking in their exterior. The churches are less magnificent than in several other cities in Spain. There are two palaces on a large scalethe Palacio Real at the western extremity, and the Buen Retiro at the eastern. The Palacio Real is of a square form, expending each way 404 feet, 86 feet high ; the enclosed court 120 feet square. It is strongly built, the exterior elegantly ornamented, and contains a collection of paintings of the best masters of Flanders, Italy and Spain. The royal library contains about 130,000 volumes, and 2000 manu scripts. The great school of Madrid has 16 masters, who teach the various arts and sciences. There is another seminary, on an equally extensive plan, for the sons of the nobility and gentry. There are academies for the study of the several fine arts, a botanic garden, and a variety of charitable institutions. Madrid is the Mantua Carpetanorum of the Romans, and the Majoritum of the middle ages. Philip II first made it the capital of the kingdom, on account of its central position. It was occupied by French troops in 1808, and was the residence of Joseph Napoleon until 1812. It was afterwards occupied by the English. In the French expedition into Spain in 1823, it was again entered by the French, under the duke d'Angouleme. (See Spain.)