Probably, the most important action of the pickaxes happens in Oriente Square, where it disappeared the Royal Library, the famous "Ball Game" and a large quantity of streets and small squares.

The actions carried out would expect to do with Madrid a more healthy and inhabitable city, so that the motley of houses, the narrowness of streets, the lack of opening spaces and the non-existing squares made it unhealthy and insalubrious, all of this in the own words of the king José Bonaparte.

Influential areas, initially interpreted the demolished buildings and the behaviour of French in the urban matters, as an attack against the religion and also an excessive interference.

Nevertheless, a few years after, it was recognised that the bigger part of the demolitions were very necessary, in spite of they were not understood neither appreciated in that moment.

The intervention in Plaza de Oriente, permitted an ambitious project of the architect Silvestre Pérez, who pretended to create two important axis that, from this square, went one of them towards the church of San Francisco el Grande and the other one towards Puerta del Sol, where it would be installed a big theatre, into the site yet occupied by the church of Buen Suceso.

The short period of time that Bonaparte's reign lasted hindered that this project was carried out. Oriente Square and its surroundings remained as immense mire, until in Isabel II's reign was finished the city development.

When the French monarch complained of the madrilian air and its unhealthy, he did not say only for the hamlet so crowded that it formed the city. Also it came to his mind the cemeteries, that were all in the inland or near the churches, in spite of the ordinances given by monarch Carlos III, that obliged or at least advise of its moving to the outskirts of the city.



Madrid surrenders before the French troops on December 2nd , 1808.
Napoleón Bonaparte, from Chamartín, crosses by Puerta del Sol
on his way to the Royal Palace.

Madrid had a population in this time of 175,000 inhabitants, with some periods of intense mortality due to some of plagues or contagious illnesses, which arrived punctually to the city.

With the royal decree of 1809, it started the moving of the cemeteries to the outskirts of the city. In the same year, the architect Juan Villanueva projected one in the north of the city, near to the present Conde del Valle Súchil Square, very close to the urban wall.

Another cemetery was situated next to San Lorenzo's Sacramental church, at the other side of the Manzanares river, and the third one, opened up in 1811, is actually the cemetery of San Isidro, near the saint's hermitage.

José Bonaparte and his staff carried out another reformations of minor quantity. They ordered to remove a lot of crosses distributed around the streets and squares, situated each one for several reasons, but it allowed to see the power of the church in the city.

Some uncovered sewers were covered and this improved the risk to health and bad smells, apart from other things.

In spite of the war, they continued the parties and celebrations. Between them, it acquired a relevant the bullfighting, to those that the monarch was very enthusiastic, taking part even in amateur bullfight.

The reality of the urban city, at the exit of French troops, was enough devastating. The demolished churches and convents could not become to squares or new buildings. Also, the walls showed its ruins in important places.

The Retiro park was plenty of ditches and cutting trees, so there had been installed the French army during the war, occupying the existing buildings to attend the warlike necessities.



Civil people like these were played the leading role in the unequal confrontation
with the French troops in charge of the major-general Murat. The short wapons,
pikes, knives and shotguns could not make anything against the French guns and rifles.
The soldier represented is an artillery official such as the ones who rose up in arms in Monteleón.

So that, the Astronomic Observatory situated in the little hill of San Blas, inside the park, had been used as military storehouse, and what is today the Prado Museum had been chivalry barracks, as to mention the most important of them.

If it was not enough with the damage caused by the war and by the French army, the English troops who had helped us, before leaving the city, destroyed some factories, such as the porcelain factory in El Retiro.

The official explanation was to avoid that it should be in the hands of French people again and the unofficial one was to avoid the competence that these factories could make to the English factories.

The posterior years to the Independence War were a difficult years for the madrilenians. The human losses, united to the hunger and the deplorable condition of the city darkened the Madrid's outlook.

During the presence of French army, the Village of Madrid suffered the lash of the hunger. The unit of wheat cost 540 real and 12 real the baked bread of two pounds. Madrilenians less flattering stems of cabbages and small plants.

From September 1811 until July 1812, more than 20,000 persons died in Madrid, for blame of the hunger.

On 17th May 1813, José Bonaparte left definitively Madrid. The Spanish forces in charge of the "Empecinado" occupy the Villa and on 5th January 1814, arrives to the capital the regency of the kingdom and the government.

It is probably that this situation should make more desirable the arriving of the new monarch Fernando VII. The Constituent Courts, gathered in Madrid, that in 25th April 1814 request from the king Fernando VII, who is in Valencia, that he returns to Madrid, thing that he made a few days after, on 11th May 1814.

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