History Tour of Madrid: The Town Too High To Die Walking Audio Tour
The town was founded in 860 by the Moors and Christians, who developed a network of canals to supply water. In medieval times Madrid was the heart of Spain, when the country ruled over much of Europe - but now it struggles to retain its superiority against other European cities. The town is famous for being the home to Spain's royal family, and throughout its history has been involved in many periods of turmoil.
During the Middle Ages, Madrid was governed by the Cid and Alfonso VIII, when it became an important religious centre. During the reign of Isabel la Católica (1474-1539), Madrid was a regional capital, and intellectual life flourished. The city's industrial development began during the Industrial Revolution with the advent of steam navigation on its canals in the 19th century. It is a common misconception that Madrid has not established itself as a major world city, but it has been seen as such throughout history.
The city was practically destroyed by fire in 1654 and 1885; following its rebirth in both cases, Madrid became famous for its architecture. The second Gernika War (1913-1914), although a Spanish victory, almost brought the city to its knees. The first bombing of Madrid within years of the Second World War, on March 18, 1945, finished off the city's last hopes of being saved by Franco.
The tour aims to show that Madrid has survived all its troubles down through history because it is a town full of fun and life - just like any other modern town in Europe. The true picture of Madrid and its history will be revealed by using an interactive tour map.