The Quintessential Global Cities search starts in Madrid. Spain’s capital and largest city is considered the major financial center of Southern Europe. It’s extensively developed communication and transportation infrastructure, including high-speed rail hubs, makes it a leading European logistics hub.
Madrid’s name is believed to originate from the ancient Roman settlement called ‘Matrice’. It experienced major growth in the Middle Ages as the capital of the Spanish Empire. It was a major trading post for goods coming in from South America including chocolate and coffee.
This influx of trading, and the resulting political influence made Madrid a hub for migrants wanting to learn skills and trades to improve their lives. Thus, giving rise to the city’s universities and its establishment as a cultural hub.
If you wanted to make your fortune, Madrid was the place to be. The high concentration of rich patrons led to its development as a hub for artists including the likes of Carducci, Goya, and Rodin. This brought Madrid into focus all over the continent and cemented its position as a cultural hub.
Following the Industrial Revolution, Madrid became host to vast array of manufacturing industries related to everything from vehicles and processed food to chemicals and leather goods. This industrial boom still thrives in the fields of publishing & graphic arts, manufacturing of metal products, furniture manufacturing, the textile industry, and the processed food industry.
Madrid’s heavy investments in education and research also mean it can fulfill the demand for highly specialized and skilled manufacturing. Everything from office machinery & electronic devices to medical equipment & precision optical devices are manufactured here to be shipped out all over Europe and the rest of the world.
Today, Madrid is the 3rd richest city in Europe. Its economic strength is only complemented by its influence in education, science, fashion, media, and entertainment.