Madrid, Spain, on a Feast Day

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Here you have a bird's eye view of the capital and the largest city of Spain. You are looking at it from the west. Perhaps the first thing you will notice in the lack of trees. It is said that the hills about the city were once covered with forests. These were cut down because they sheltered birds, and birds destroyed the grain in the fields! You will also observe the sandy soil of the plateau. The country about Madrid (mä-drd´) is poorly fitted for raising crops. Indeed, it would appear to be a strange place to build a great capital city. It is far inland and shut off from the coasts by mountains. The climate is harsh. In winter sharp winds blow, and spring is slow in coming. There is a joke in Madrid that it is not safe to go without your cloak till the 40th of May! In summer the heat is intense. The severe climate is due to the elevation (2130 ft.), and the distance from the sea. Madrid came to be the capital of Spain partly by accident. There was much jealousy between the cities of Spain in the 16th century. Toledo would not have the capital at Seville, and Saragossa hated Burgos. Phillip II decided to make his capital at Madrid because it was too small then to rouse the jealousy of the larger cities. Besides, Phillip was full of whims. Even though Madrid is the capital by accident, it is now a fine city. It is well laid out, and its palace and public buildings are worthy of the once powerful Spanish empire. It is now the center of the Spanish railroad system, so that it can be reached rather easily from the seaports and large cities of the interior. You can see in the view the dome of the palace. Feast days in Spain are frequent. The Spanish are not a hardworking people as a rule. They love picnics and good times, so holidays come often. Keystone ID: 15800 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.