Madrid, autonomous community and province, Spain

Madrid mədrĭdˈ, Span. mäᵺhrēᵺˈ [key], autonomous community and coextensive prov., (2011 pop. 6,421,874), 3,099 sq mi (8,027 sq km), central Spain. Madrid, the capital of Spain, is also its capital and most important city. Situated on the central plateau (Meseta), it is bounded on the NW by the rugged, frequently snow-capped Sierra de Guadarrama, which is crossed by several passes and separates the roughly triangular Madrid from Castile and Léon; it is bordered on the E and S by Castile–La Mancha. It is watered by the Jarama, Henares, Tajuña, and Manzanares rivers, tributaries of the Tagus. Cereals, potatoes, beets, asparagus, tomatoes, and grapes are grown. Industry, once predominantly based on agriculture, is now highly diverse, including construction, metallurgy, lumbering and the manufacture of motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and ceramics. There are lime, gypsum, and stone quarries. Other leading towns include Alcalá de Henares, Getafe, Colmenar Viejo, Chamartín, and Aranjuez. Aranjuez, Escorial, and El Pardo are known for their fine royal palaces.

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