Location, Climate and Population
Under the terms of the 1978 Constitution, Spain is a
democratic state subject to the Rule of Law and is politically structured in the form of a
parliamentary Monarchy. The country's capital is Madrid, which is the seat of both the
Royal Family and the Government. Also centred here are the legislative (Senate and Lower
House) and judicial authorities.
web site contains information about the city (officially borough) of Madrid, but there is
also an Autonomous Community of Madrid. The range and scope of the respective Autonomous
Regional Authorities is determined by the Constitution, with the Constitutional Court
designated as the competent body for settling any conflicts which may arise between the
Central Administration and the Regions.
city of Madrid is located at almost the exact geographical centre of the Iberian
Peninsula, at a latitude of 40 degrees 25 minutes north, 3 degrees 42 minutes west. It
will come as a surprise to many of our readers to learn that Madrid is situated further
west than London, Liverpool or Edinburgh.
Built on a series of small mounts, between which Madrid's rather inadequate River
Manzanares flows, the city's average altitude is 654 metres above sea level, its highest
point being 694 metres. At a height of 655 metres, the average barometric pressure is
The average annual temperature in the shade is 13ºC (55ºF). In the colder seasons, the
minimum temperatures often fall below freezing point, although in the city itself it
rarely snows. During the peak summer months the temperature can easily reach 40ºC
(104ºF), but this is made slightly more bearable by the low humidity levels. Having said
all this, Madrid's climate is one of the healthiest in Europe because of its privileged
position, at a short distance from the Somosierra (to the north and north-east),
Guadarrama (north-east) and Toledo (south and east) mountain ranges. Madrid receives the
pure mountain air from these Sierras, some of which, like Guadarrama, offer almost
year-round winters sports centres.
Madrid's municipal boundaries enclose an area of 607 km2, whereas the Autonomous Community
of Madrid occupies nearly 8000 km2 and consists of 178 municipalities.
According to official census data from the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall), the population of
Madrid (within municipal boundaries) was 3,187,062 on 1st January 2007. It may also surprise some readers to
know that this makes Madrid the 3rd largest city by population in the European Union, after London and Berlin, if
population within the city limits is the determining factor.
Please use the
links to the left to find out all you need to know for your visit to Madrid.