On the site where the castle stands today the Moors erected a fortress in the 9th century. At the time it was covered with thick forests and the name Madrid appears to have come from the Arab word ‘Meschrid’, which means ‘wood’. In 1083 the settlement was reconquered and the reign of the Moors broken. The Castilian kings often stayed here, but only Philip II of Spain finally made Madrid a capital and moved the government there from Toledo. In the Spanish Wars of Succession, Madrid was against the Habsburgs and in 1706 it was occupied by British and Portuguese troops. Charles III (1759-1788) played a role in the development of the new Madrid, as did Joseph Bonaparte who ruled as King Joseph I of Spain between 1808 and 1813. During the three Carlist Wars in the 19th century and the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) Madrid unfortunately suffered heavy damage.
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