Centro is the central district of the city of Madrid, Spain. It is approximately 5.23 km² (2.02 sq mi) in size. It has a population of 149,718 people and a population density of 28,587/km² (74,040/sq mi).
The Centro district of Madrid is the oldest section of the city. Evidence of a stable settlement dates back to Spain's Muslim period. In the second half of the 9th century, the emir of Córdoba, Muhammad I (852–886), built a fortress on a promontory beside the river, the modern-day location of the Royal Palace. Its purpose was to watch the passes of the Sierra de Guadarrama and to initiate raids against the northern Christian countries. The remaining ruins of the fortress's wall are still preserved. A small suburb called Magerit developed to the east of the fortress. With the exception of the wall, few structures from this period remain.
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