Madrid has a varied artistic offer, the result of the different styles that have left their mark over the centuries.
From the remains of the ancient Arab wall, through small Gothic churches to the first Renaissance works, Madrid gathers in its development very rich and varied artistic works. Madrid owes its name to the Arabic name of Magerit ("mother of the waters"), which was baptized the fortress on the banks of the Manzanares River built the Umayyad of Cordoba, Muhammed (823-886). Although the city grew under Arab domination for two hundred years, only some remains of the city walls and some tower converted into a bell tower are preserved. The arrival of the Austrias, from the sixteenth century onwards and at its peak in the seventeenth century, marks the beginning of the monumentality that has given rise to one of the most renowned areas in the capital -the so-called Madrid de los Austrias- in which apart from the Plaza Mayor, a multitude of corners, churches and convents, full of flavor and art, stand out. The austere facades of this baroque style contrast with the luxurious interiors of the palaces.
The 18th century left its neoclassical mark on the splendid Royal Palace, Jardines de Sabatini, Campo del Moro, in the centre of the capital. The church of San Francisco El Grande, the fountains of Paseo del Prado, the Toledo Bridge, the Prado Museum or the Puerta de Alcalá, are also splendid examples of this style.