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Districts of Madrid

Get to know the Vicálvaro district

Written by Miguel

Formerly a village and municipality in the province of Madrid, Vicálvaro is currently one of the capital of Spain’s 21 districts.

Administrative Division

Photo by netjcmv via Visualhunt

Photo by netjcmv via Visualhunt

As often is the case when it comes to Madrid’s districts and barrios, geographical lines and designations within Vicálvaro can be quite blurry. While it officially only contains 2 wards – Ambroz and Casco Histórico de Vicálvaro (Vicálvaro’s old quarter) – in practice it is made up of 3 different neighbourhoods:

Vicálvaro – Covers the location where the old village used to be, as well as its surrounding areas and part of Ambroz.

Valdebernardo On the west side of the district, it is a part of Casco Histórico.

Valderrivas – A new neighbourhood that was formed in the ’90s, it has brought continuous growth to the district, opening its doors to plenty of young people.

Related article: Madrid’s Salamanca district

What to see in the district of Vicálvaro

Photo by CONOCE VALLADOLID via Visualhunt

Photo by CONOCE VALLADOLID via Visualhunt

Santa María de la Antigua ChurchBuilt in the 16th century, this religious building is a great example of baroque style and decoration. After having its interiors completely destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, this beautiful church was extensively renewed in 1999.

Vicálvaro MuseumAn obligatory stop if you want to learn more about the history, culture and traditions of the district, this museum constitutes a rich depository of objects and information that help paint a clear picture of the region throughout the times.

FauniaA zoo and botanical garden covering over 14 square hectares, Faunia is divided into sections that each represent a different ecosystem. With plenty of animals to see and interact with, as well as many fun activities, it is a great place to visit for adults and children alike.


Since 1998, Vicálvaro has been home to King Juan Carlos University’s Faculty of Law and Social Sciences. The school’s facilities include a management building, a departmental building, classrooms, a library and a gym.

Related article: Top 5 shopping districts in Madrid

Sticks and stones

Photo by mmarftrejo via Visualhunt

Photo by mmarftrejo via Visualhunt

It’s also worth noting that this district is quite relevant to the fields of both geology and archaeology. It is home to the world’s largest deposit of Sepiolite, located at the foot of the Almodóvar hill, the same place where, in 2013, a Palaeolithic workshop was found, revealing a large deposit of ancient utensils dating back more than 200 thousand years.

Are you planning on visiting Vicálvaro? It is quite different from downtown Madrid, so we highly recommend it if you want to see a different side to the city and delve deeper into its history. As always, feel free to speak your mind using the comment box below. Have fun discovering the capital of Spain!

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About the author


Miguel is a freelance writer and copywriter who believes that words can really take you places - so hop on his words and dare to discover the wonders of Madrid with him.

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