When you go to las Vistillas, if you stand in the right spot, you’ll have an excellent view of the city and the Segovia Bridge to your right. You can see how impressive the Almudena cathedral looks from the back. There’s no competition with the Royal Family House on this side, so as you can see, they went into a lot more detail. Just below the bridge is the Segovia street where an underground river flows. This river actually gave the city it’s name: it comes from a deformation of the old Arabic word “Mahgarit” of which “Ma” means water and “Garit” means great. Some say that Madrid’s original name was “Ursa” (Latin for female bear) because of the amount of bears that inhabited the surrounding areas. You can still find the traces of the bear and madroño trees as the city symbol. If you haven’t yet been to Puerta del Sol, go check it out.
So there’s a couple of reasons why the Moors decided to settle here. Along with the great water source, if it’s a clear day, you should see some mountains at a distance. These are called the Northern Mountains, and back then, they were a very effective defensive border. As the phrase goes, “You could see your enemy coming from a mile away!” Back then, Madrid was just a military outpost to protect another city about 70 km from here, you may have heard of it… Toledo. Have you visited Toledo yet?