Day of Madrid Date in the current year: May 2, 2018

Day of Madrid The Day of Madrid (Fiesta de la Comunidad de Madrid) is celebrated in the Spanish autonomous community of Madrid on May 2. It marks the anniversary of an uprising against Napoleon’s troops on May 2, 1808. It was this uprising that caused the Peninsular War to escalate.

The French Imperial Forces occupied Madrid on April 23, 1808. King Charles IV was forced to abdicate in favor of his son Ferdinand VII. Both had to leave Madrid for the French city of Bayonne, where they were essentially kept as Napoleon’s prisoners.

The French general Joachim Murat also planned to move Charles’s daughter and youngest son, Infanta Maria Luisa and Infante Francisco de Paula, to Bayonne, along with Maria Luisa’s children. Initially the city council refused to follow Murat’s request, but eventually yielded after receiving a message from the new king.

However, the people of Madrid decided to protest against Murat’s plan to move the remaining members of the royal family to Bayonne. On May 2, a crowd began to gather in front of the Royal Palace and attempted to prevent the removal of Francisco de Paula and Maria Luisa. Murat ordered to open fire on the crowd, and the rebellion began to spread throughout Madrid.

Poorly armed townspeople fiercely resisted Murat’s troops but the French eventually regained control of the city, killing several hundreds of people in the process. The next day, Murat ordered to execute those who had been captured with weapons of any kind.

The French hoped that public executions would discourage any further rebellions, but their repressions had the opposite effect. The Dos de Mayo uprising actually fueled the resistance and triggered the Peninsular War against the occupants.

The anniversary of the uprising is a public holiday in the Community of Madrid, often referred to as the Day of Madrid. It is marked with police and military events, street parties, and local celebrations held throughout the Spanish capital and in surrounding towns and villages.

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Category

Anniversaries and Memorial Days

Country

Spain

Tags

Day of Madrid, municipal holiday, Dos de Mayo uprising, holidays in Spain, holidays in Madrid