The growth of Madrid was so fast and ambitious during those almost forty years of the reign of Philip II that there won't be of more to leave profiled, with clarity, which were the limits of the Village, in the moment to become the Court.

The Fortress volumetry after king Charles's I reformations.
At that time, architects as Covarrubias and Luis de Vega
reprocesses the old Fortress giving it a palace appearance,
in spite of the difficulties they had with the old construction
and the estimate cost shortages.

It will allow us to gauge the reach of this growth in the moment of Philip's II death, in 1598.

By 1566, a fence or wall, of poor materials - brick, cement, rubbish - drew the following perimeter:

That fence started up from the wall of the 12th century, next to the Moorish headquarters, not far from Paja Square, it lowered until Toledo Street, near the current Fuentecilla, and rotated, soft on-line, more or less continuous, until Antón Martin's wicket.

From here, rotating to the north, it arrived to the first Alcalá Gate, in the current cross of the Alcalá and Sevilla Streets, facing towards the near cross of Fuencarral and Hortaleza Streets, next to the modern Gran Vía, towards Santo Domingo's Square, where it finished in the fence of the suburbs of the 15th century.

Madrid's recreation, at the first half of 16th century.
Engraving by Juan Wingaerde, carried out between 1556 and 1560.

This growth, once again, indicates how Madrid always looked for, in a resolved way, the orientation toward the east, favored mainly for the softness of the relief, while toward the south the land descended and towards the north it ascended.

But one of the first consequences of the transfer of the capital to Madrid and maybe the most serious, was the housing demand that the enormous population who moved to the city generated Philip's II reign along.

The City Council, lacking juridical and human means, overflowed by the events and almost always responding late to the problems, it was in a short time before a situation of disorderly, chaotic and uncontrolled growth, where the speculation and the spontaneous constructions, neither under ordinances nor limitations, blustering for its respects, as it is usually said.

The houses were quickly lifted and running, without health guarantees, with poor and bad materials, and without keeping the most elementary urban rules.

The proprietors of pieces of ground, field, properties or vegetable gardens sold them or quickly parceled them, trying to take advantage of the surprising housing and lodging demand.

The facades didn't keep, in general, a continuous alignment that made that the streets have continually turns, incoming and salient. Also in the projecting, all kinds of excesses took place.

This situation, created to the necessity of forming an organism, half dependent of the Town Council, half of the Crown to control these lecheries and urban disorders that gave to the Court a chaotic and improvised aspect.

Main facade of the Fortress after king Charles's I reformations,
highlighting the main front, flanked by the the old castle's round turrets.

This organism called Police's Council and Ornament, created in 1590, and presided by architect Francisco de Mora, who had been an architect's assistant of Herrera in The Escorial.

The situation began to be slightly controlled, the Council carried out works to tidy up the streets, eliminating projects, to align facades and to suppress abrupt differences of land, as little ravines or hillocks that had stayed, without being modified, surrounded by constructions.

Some years after being created the Council, the king died, and with the new king, Philip III, the Court was moved temporarily to Valladolid.

When that happened, Madrid continued extending, and at the end of the century, the urban surface reached to the current Toledo Gate to the south, Atocha Circus to the east and Pez Street to the north.

The growth didn't stop, even hurried with the turn of the Court from Valladolid, in 1606.

In 1625, the young king Philip IV ordered the rising of a fence or wall that impeded this gigantic growth which already took place about the daily and legal Madrilenians life an entire series of inconveniences and problems.

Main facade reconstruction of the Fortress after king Philip's II reformations,
who ordered to lift up a tower called "Golden"
and a corridor that unites it with the main front left round turret.

This fence pursued, not only to close, with fiscal and police purposes, the numerous new arisen neighborhoods, but mainly, to prevent that the growth continued.

And it stopped, because the city didn't grow until the 19th century again, inside the limits marked by the fence of 1625, that were as follows: to the south the called Toledo, Embajadores and Valencia Outer Roads, to the east The Prado and Recoletos Walks, and to the north the Génova, Sagasta, Carranza and Alberto Aguilera Boulevards.

One of the interesting premises of the edict of rising the fence was, the prohibition of building immediately beside the same one, so there were some empty fringes between the wall and the next village.

From 1625, the internal circulation of this Madrid was regulated or channeled by a group of main arteries that, leaving the Sun Gate or near points to the medieval helmet, they drove more or less in lines right or clear, to the extreme points but far from the city.

From Santo Domingo's old Square, next to the medieval monastery, they left diverse streets that drove to the northeast end of the city, Leganitos Street - this rather short - and the very long one Amaniel and San Bernardo Streets, whose width took to that the town denominated it San Bernardo's Wide Street, to be distinguished of another small one, located in another distant point of the city.

Facade of the Fortress at the first half of 17th century.
As it can be observed, the Fortress has been enlarged in its east side only,
looking for a symmetry that, the estimate cost shortage , leaves it incomplete.

Apart from the mentioned square, but going away in opposed sense, toward the northeast, the popular and pure Corredera de San Pablo, today very shrunk its longitude, and near the end of its itinerary Fuencarral Street, to finish melting with Hortaleza Street

These two, Fuencarral and Hortaleza Streets were born in the same point, Red de San Luis, short street that led them quickly to the Sun Gate. They were guided with determination toward the north, and although were born together, they went separating gradually, drawing more direct and right roads that from the north of the periphery drove to the same center of Madrid, the already mentioned Sun Gate.

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