An astronaut aboard the International Space Station took this image of Central Madrid on 18 September 2015, using the most powerful lens on the space station.
Madrid is the third largest city in the EU and has a population of 6.5million people.
The Manzanares River crosses the left side of the image, with the city's largest park—Casa de Campo—to its west. The ancient centre of Madrid, known as the Centro district, is east of the river. A wide, tree-lined street known as the Paseo de la Castellana crosses the entire image. The renowned Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home to Real Madrid football club, lies along this major thoroughfare.
Madrid features modern infrastructure, but the city has also managed to preserve many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets, especially in the Centro district. In that area, the ancient pattern of small, irregular streets contrast with larger and straighter streets in the surrounding younger neighbourhoods. Landmarks in and around the Centro district include the Royal Palace of Madrid, and the city's main cathedral. The district also houses the Royal Theatre, several art museums, and Spain's national library.
Madrid is known as one of the most liveable cities in the world. This is partly due to the green, wooded spaces that show up clearly in this image, especially the woodlands along the river. This urban parkland stretches from the centre for many kilometres to the west. It is Madrid's so-called "green lung" and is the biggest urban park in Spain. A large racecourse, the Hipódromo de la Zarzuela, is also located in this green zone.
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Credit: NASA Earth Observatory - Additional editing by the eoPortal team.