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The nickname of the inhabitants of Madrid: los Gatos!

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Martí Micolau
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Not everyone knows this, but the people of Madrid have a particular nickname by which they are known throughout Spain.


Those who live in the capital are often referred to as "Gato“, And the people of Madrid themselves do not mind wearing this particular feline nickname.

But where does the definition "Gatos" come from? 

Some mistakenly attribute it to the common custom of the Madrid people of go out late in the evening, when it is now dark, to spend the whole night along the streets, as stray cats would do.


In reality the term has more ancient and interesting origins.

Madrid was founded by the Arabs, to be precise by the sovereign Muhammad I, in the distant year 852. The city was then known as Magerit. An imposing boundary wall protected the Arab fortress, which could only be accessed through three fortified gates.

Only more than two hundred years later, under the leadership of Alfonso VI, the Christians effectively succeeded in putting the city under siege, however failing to open a breach in the walls.

It was the agility of a young soldier that gave new confidence to the besieging troops. These, climbing like a cat on the outer edge of the walls, under the incredulous eyes of their fellow soldiers, replaced the flag of the Moors with the Christian one.



It was from that moment that the people began to refer to the boy and his family with the name of Cats, which then extended to all the inhabitants of the city!

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