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The city of Madrid originated out of a small fortress on the left bank of the Manzanares River that was constructed during the time of the Muslim ruler Mohamed (852-886). Felipe III and Felipe the IV had the mission of expanding and beautifying the city and for this they called on the famous architect, Juan Goméz de Mora. In the 17th century a large wall was constructed around the emerging suburbs,and the wall´s route conicided with the actual borders of Segovia, Toledo, and Valencia.

It was a Bourbon, Carlos III, who modernized Madrid in the 18th century. He laid out the prinicipal avenues of the city such as the Avenue of Castellana, Avenue of Recoletos, Avenue of the Prado, and Avenue of Acacias. The 19th century was marked by the War of Independence and the shooting of May 2nd. Additionally, José Bonaparte (the older brother of Napolean Bonaparte) commissioned the reform of Puerta del Sol and its surrounding areas. Under the reign of Isabel II the city´s layout changed dramatically and the plans for its expansion were designed.

At the beginning of the twentieth century Gran Via was opened, prolonging the Avenue of Castellana where modern constructions had replaced ancient palaces. These new buildings housed the most important companies of the financial world. Today Madrid is an open cosmopolitan city with a rich culture and nightlife, which also has one of the best classical art museums in the world, El Prado.