King Carlos III and Los Angeles (USA)

We have decided to write a post about King Carlos III (1716-1788) because he is one of our favourite historical figures. Why? King Carlos III was really important for the city of Madrid to the extent that Madrid would be a completely different city without him. He opened hospitals, public schools, museums factories and transformed the country into a modern nation.

As if this were not enough, since the inauguration of our company in 2013 the equestrian statue of King Carlos III (Puerta del Sol Square) is the meeting point from where all our tours start 🙂

King Carlos III and Los Angeles
Image credits: jondoeforty (Flickr / C.C.)

Before his reign, Madrid was a dark, dirty and dangerous city. The narrow streets of Madrid were the perfect workplace for criminals, rapists and all kind of lowlife.

King Carlos III, inspired by the great European capitals like Paris or Vienna, implemented a huge program of enlightened reforms. Thus, the King ordered the construction of boulevards, stately buildings, gardens and approved countless hygiene measures.

But not only Madrid has a special relationship with Carlos III. Many people do not know but the fascinating city of Los Angeles in the United States was founded thanks to King Carlos III in 1781.

Seal of Los Angeles in which we can see the symbols of Castile (Spain): the Castle and the Lion. | Image credits: Wikipedia (C.C.)

The first Spaniards arrived to California in the sixteenth century and incorporated the region to the Viceroyalty of New Spain. However, the city of Los Angeles was not founded until the late eighteenth century, when Felipe de Neve (governor of California) recommended to the Viceroy of New Spain the foundation of Los Angeles due to its excellent location, resources and enormous potential.

King Carlos III, from his palace in Madrid, gave approval to the creation of the new city (1781), which was founded by a group of 44 people consisting of indigenous and Spanish.

King Charles III Los Angeles
Map of the United States in the early 19th century | Image credits: Wikipedia (C.C.)

The State of California was under Spanish rule until 1821 when the Viceroyalty of New Spain achieved its independence and the new State of Mexico was proclaimed.

Even today, if we take a look at the Seal of Los Angeles, we can appreciate the Spanish heritage of this amazing city. At the bottom of the Seal we can see the emblem of the Crown of Castile and Leon (the castle and the lion).

If you want to know more about the figure of the King Carlos III join our Free Walking Tour in Madrid. Every day at 10:45 at Puerta del Sol Square. BOOK NOW and discover Madrid like a local!

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About Javier

Hola! My name is Javier Redondo, tour guide in Madrid for more than 8 years.
As a good "Madrileño", I love football (I support Atlético de Madrid), eating tapas and walk the cobblestone streets of old Madrid 🙂

This Madrid blog is where I share tips on popular attractions, local food and off-beat spots.

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