As the state capital Madrid hosts the headquarters of the Government, Spanish Parliament, ministries, institutions and agencies, as well as the official residence of the royals of Spain. At an economic level, Madrid is a major financial and industrial center.
Born from the fortified settlement of hispanic-muslim Mayrit or Magrit, conquered by Alfonso VI of Castille in 1083, the town was designated in 1561 as the seat of the court of Philip II, the first permanent capital of the Spanish monarchy. Since then, Madrid has been the Spanish capital and seat of government of the nation.
With the conquest by the Christians in the eleventh century, suburbs or neighborhoods became the outskirts of the city known as the Morería. There was also a Jewish quarter that would later become the neighborhood of Lavapies.
In 2006 Madrid was the fourth most visited city in Europe and the first in Spain hosting nearly seven million tourists.