Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain.The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million (as of December 2009); the entire population of the metropolitan area (urban area and suburbs) is calculated to be nearly 6.5 million. It is the third-most populous municipality in the European Union after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area is the third-most populous in the European Union after Paris and London. The city spans a total of 698 km² (234 sq mi).
Madrid is the most touristic city of Spain, ahead of Barcelona, and the fourth-most touristic of the continent. The city is located on the river Manzanares in the centre of both the country and the Community of Madrid (which comprises the city of Madrid, its conurbation and extended suburbs and villages); this community is bordered by the autonomous communities of Castile and León and Castile-La Mancha. As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political center of Spain. The current mayor is Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón from the Popular Party (PP). He has been in office since 2003, when he left the Presidency of the Autonomous Community of Madrid and stood as the candidate to replace outgoing mayor José María Álvarez del Manzano, also from the PP. In the last local elections of 2007, Ruiz-Gallardón increased the PP majority in the City Council to 34 seats out of 57, taking 55.5% of the popular vote and winning in all but two districts.
Madrid urban agglomeration has the 4th largest GDP on the continent amounting 230 billion euro in 2009. Due to its economic output, high standard of living, and market size, Madrid is considered the major financial centre of Southern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula; it hosts the head offices of the vast majority of the major Spanish companies, as well as the headquarters of three of the world's 100 largest companies (Telefónica, Repsol-YPF, Banco Santander).
Work for a Swiss company in Shanghai, East of Shanghai. Great passion for stamp, card and FDC collecting. Visited the Faroe Islands as lucky winner invited by Posta stamps. Do not hesitate to contact me if you'd like to swap with me.