8th International Workshop on
THERMal INvestigations of ICs and Systems

1-4 October 2002,
Madrid, Spain.

Social Event on October 3rd, 2002

CAFÉ DE CHINITAS is a restaurant with flamenco show, located in a beautiful palace of the 18th century in the in the centre of Madrid, with first class international cuisine and one of the best flamenco performance. With 30 years existence (opening in 1970) over it's stage has passed lot of big artists of Spanish folk and it's counting with illustrious clients like Her Majesty the King of Spain, the Princess of Wales Lady Di, the President of the USA Bill Clinton and a lot of important persons in politic and culture. Enjoy an excellent dinner and one of the best flamenco show at the CAFÉ DE CHINITAS YOU'LL NEVER FORGET IT.

Some history

Orientation: Madrid is Europe's highest city (650m; 2100ft), and it's also surprisingly compact. The main north-south artery, Paseo de la Castellana (which turns into Paseo de los Recoletos and Paseo del Prado), connects the city's two main train stations, Chamartín and Atocha. The oldest quarters are squeezed in between Paseo del Prado (where you'll find the city's great art galleries) and the Palacio Real to the west. Midway, the barrios south-east of Puerta del Sol leading to the working-class district of Lavapiés are filled with seemingly endless restaurants, bars and cafes. The densest concentration of accommodation can be found around Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Santa Ana and the barrios of Malasaña and Chueca (for pensiones and hostales), and along the Gran Vía (hotels).

History: Unfortunately for city hagiographers, it's doubtful that Madrid's origins are Roman, and much more likely that it originated as an Islamic garrison. Convention has it that the emir of Córdoba established a fortress on the future site of Madrid in 854. Known as Magerit, it was one of a string of forts across the frontier land between Al-Andalus in the south and the Christian kingdoms to the north. Only a stretch of city wall survives from this period.

Madrid's Muslim era came to a close in 1085 when hegemony over the region was handed to King Alfonso VI of Castile. Although its population is thought to have numbered around 12,000 at this time, the town's status remained only marginal. Municipal power was concentrated in the hands of a small number of local families, who managed to hold on to their position when royally-appointed governors attempted to wrest control in 1348.

While Madrid remained on the fringe of things, great events were happening in the rest of the country: Isabel and Ferdinand united the Castilian and Aragonese Crowns in 1474; Granada, the last Muslim stronghold on the peninsula, fell in 1492; and in the same year, Columbus set sail on the journey that would bring Spain untold wealth. Isabel and Ferdinand's grandson, Carlos I, succeeded not only to the throne of Spain but also to that of the Habsburgs, becoming Holy Roman Emperor over territories stretching from Austria to Holland and from Spain to the American colonies.

It was Carlos' son and successor, Felipe II, who dragged Madrid into the limelight by appointing it the permanent seat of the royal court in 1561. Underdeveloped Madrid offered plenty of room for expansion, as befitted the capital of an empire, but Toledo, the more likely contender and the seat of the Church in Spain, was forever miffed. More concerned with the business of empire, Felipe neglected his new capital, and it remained a chaotic medieval nightmare for its 25,000 inhabitants. Over the next century, Spain proceeded to go to pot, bled dry by a succession of wars and gaining only massive inflation from the river of gold shipped in from the Americas. Increasingly, the country's rulers retreated to their capital, creating a fantasy land of sumptuous palaces and churches. The grandiloquence was designed to impress, but the squalor in which the bulk of the people lived made a mockery of such royal splendour. Madrid became a city of immigrants, with the population blowing out to 150,000 by 1656; however, such numbers existed only because of the presence of the court.

Habsburg Spain came to a whimpering end in 1700 with the death of the sickly Carlos II, who neglected to leave a successor. A succession of reformist rulers saw Madrid finally lose its reputation as Europe's filthiest city, but attempts at land reform failed, with the region continuing to be an essentially poor country ruled by a big-spending royal court. The scene was set for the final blows: the crushing of Spain by Britain in the epic Battle of Trafalgar of 1805; the loss of its American colonies; Napoleon's occupation of Spain; and the ensuing Peninsula War for independence, which was sparked by the people of Madrid and left the city exhausted and facing starvation.

Society in 19th century Madrid remained dominated by the landed aristocracy, with the poorer classes still living in single-storey slum housing and a full quarter of the working population employed as servants in aristocratic households. A burgeoning middle class emerged from 1837, when Church property was expropriated by the government. It's estimated that some 1600 Church properties were destroyed in Madrid in the first four decades of the 19th century alone, leaving the new bourgeois to pick up the pieces, and later art historians to gnash their teeth and weep. Thanks to an injection of foreign (mostly French) capital, living conditions were improved with the introduction of street paving, gas lighting, sewage and garbage collection.

Politically, things were a mess, with alternating coups between conservative and liberal wings of the army, the shortlived republic of 1873 and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1875. Spain ended the century ignominiously, losing its navy and remaining colonies (Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines) to the USA. The first decades of the 20th century saw improvements in Madrid such as the electrification of the tramlines, the creation of the Gran Vía and the inaugural metro line. Inward migration caused the city's population to double from a 1900 figure of half a million to almost one million by 1931. With housing shortages chronic, Madrid's politics were becoming radicalised. Opposition to the Crown and calls for constitutional reform were growing louder, socialists leading the way under the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and General Workers' Union (UGT).

A repressive six-year coup was finally ended by Alfonso XIII in 1930, and the ensuing elections saw a coalition of republicans and socialists carry the day. The second republic was proclaimed, universal suffrage was introduced, Alfonso XIII fled the country and Madrid was officially recognised as the capital of the Spanish state. Joyful abandon was sadly shortlived, however, as party infighting, calls for revolution, a series of crippling strikes and the bloody suppression of a miners' revolt by troops led by General Francisco Franco saw the country precariously poised between right and left. The situation reached boiling point when the Frente Nacional (National Front) was pipped to the post by the left-wing Frente Popular (Popular Front) in the elections of February 1936. Three years of seemingly inevitable bloody civil war were inaugurated in July 1936 by rebellious North African garrisons, led by Franco. Madrid held the nationalists at bay until the surrender of March 1939, with fighting heaviest in the north-west of the city.

The victorious Franco made Madrid his home, ushering in decades of poverty, repression and chronic overcrowding. Economic woes lessened in the 1960s with increased foreign investment but discontent was on the rise. Franco died in 1975, having earlier named Juan Carlos, the grandson of Alfonso XIII, his successor. With King Juan Carlos on the throne, Spain made the transition from dictatorship to democracy with the appointment of a moderate conservative government. Opposition parties and trade unions were legalised, and a new constitution was written. Madrid's first free municipal elections were held in 1979, and power has since been shuffled between left-wing and right-of-centre councils. Recent years have seen the revival of artistic and cultural activity in the city, the restoration of the old centre, and improved public transport and public housing. The city's nightlife is perhaps not as vibrant as it was in the celebratory late 1970s and 80s, but Madrid remains a remarkably lively, happening city.

Copyright © 2002 Laboratoire TIMA.
Tous droits réservés.