Madrid 2008 - UHY Annual Meeting
The UHY 2008 Annual Meeting will be held in Madrid (Spain) from 22 to 25 October at the Intercontinental Hotel.
The Intercontinental Hotel is located in the heart of the financial and cultural district of Madrid and is one of the city's foremost luxury hotels.
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain, a city of great cultural and political importance with around 4 million inhabitants.
Magerit, "land rich in water". This is the name the Arabs gave to this area on the central plain close to the Guadarrama Mountains, where Felipe II later chose to establish his court. It is surprising to discover that, ever since the time of the Arabs, water has been a key factor in the development of the city, in a land with abundant streams and underground waters.
The open nature of the people of Madrid can be seen in the religious and cultural diversity in the city, a combination of its foundation by the Arabs and the arrival of the royal court of the Austrias, as well as the Jewish quarter and the events in the development of the religious life of the people - the discovery of the image of the Almudena Virgin and the miraculous life of Isidro Labrador, the city's patrons.
With the arrival of the Austrias dinasty, the city took a central role in the destiny of the country, with the monarchy and the Empire on which "the sun ever set" based around the Royal "Alcanzar", where the royal palace stands today, and the Buen Retiro Palace, of which only the gardens remain.
After the Austrias dynasty, there came the Bourbons. Carlos III built bridges, hospitals, parks, fountains (Neptune, Cibeles, Apollo), scientific buildings (The Prado Museum, The Royal Botanic Gardens, The Observatory) so he came to be know as the "best Mayor Madrid ever had".
The most authentic Madrid is the Madrid of the Golden Age. The Golden Age in Spain stretched from the 16th to the 17th centuries. This is the Madrid of the Austrias, the Reinassance and the Baroque, of the Literary District, the Administration and the Royal Court. It is the age of Cervantes, Lope, Quevedo and Calderón; of intrigues in politics and theatres with comedies featuring swords and capes.
It is also the Madrid of Velázquez and his Felipes III and IV on horseback; of the "Meninas", the icon of the city since it was painted by Diego Velázquez for the walls of the Royal Alcázar. It is the Madrid of the great cultural, artistic, economic and political flowering. It is the most authentic Madrid.
Madrid's attractions stretch way beyond its own boundaries. Within just two hours of Madrid there are nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Alcalá de Henares, Toledo, Cuenca, Segovia, Ávila, Salamanca, Córdoba, the San Lorenzo de El Escorial monastery and Aranjuez.
Three of the most important art galleries in the world are located in Madrid. Madrid's golden triangle contains the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
The Prado Museum is the most complete art gallery in the world, displaying extraordinary works by Velázquez, Goya and El Greco.
The Reina Sofía Museum is home to Picasso's Guernica, together with many other pieces by the artist, and offers the visitor a comprehensive selection of art from the 19th to 21st centuries, featuring artists such as Miró, Kandinsky, Dalí, Tápies and Antonio López.
The Thyssen Museum displays fascinating pieces dating from the Gothic and Renaissance periods right up to the works of Hopper, Bacon and Freud.
In the past, Madrid was made up of people from all four corners of Spain - today it is comprised of people from all four corners fo the world, bringing with them every culture and every point of view. The quality of life in the city makes it the preferred place to work by Europeans.
Madrid's GDP per capita is higher than the European average, and the city has the largest inland customs and maritime area in the European Union, the second-largest European airport in terms of capacity, the second largest food unit on the continent and what will be the largest intermodal logistics platform in Southern Europe.
Fitur (the International Tourism Fair), Arco (The International Contemporary Art Fair) and SIMO (the International IT, Multimedia and Communications Fair) are just three examples of the international fairs that come together each year in Madrid, the world's meeting point for professionals within their respective sectors. The city's exceptional range of facilities and infrastructure, it's vast hotel space and an outstanding range of cultural and leisure attractions ensure that any business event organised and held in Madrid will be a guaranteed success.
Madrid sometimes seems like a forest sprouting up between buildings. But it isn´t just the parks and gardens in Madrid that catch your attention, even though the Retiro and Casa de Campo parks, the El Capricho gardens and the Botanical Gardens are famous in their own rights. What makes Madrid a green city is the number of trees in its streets.
Bullfighting is an integral part of the Hispanic imagery, and is seen at its greatest in Madrid. It is not without reason that Madrid is home to the most important bullring in the world, La Monumental de Las Ventas, which hosts the great names of this art in May of each year, during the San Isidro festivities.
The visual force, rituals and customs of the bullfighting world have seduced painters, writers and film makers throughout history. Goya, Picasso, Almodóvar, Blasco Ibañéz, Orson Wells, Hemingway, Ava Gardner and many other "locals" all fell in love with a tradition rooted to the myth of the Minotaur.
Flamenco is a whole other world, it takes away your senses...This art form truly deserves its place, along with tapas and bullfighting, as part of the ultimate Spanish trinity of symbols. This is the Spanish local colour that you can see in Madrid's tablaos and corralas (Flamenco shows and venues).
You will be able to have a taste of the purest flamenco and the newest twists to the tradition.