Investigations led by the Universidad Complutense’s School of Geography reveal Real Madrid’s stadium to be the most popular landmark within the Spanish capital.
The Universidad Complutense’s Human Geography Department, headed up by Javier Gutierez, analysed some 270,344 photos of Madrid on various social media platforms, – 43,296 of which were uploaded by tourists – and amongst the most photographed landmarks captured by the city’s visitors, the Santiago Bernabeu ranks top of the pile, coming in ahead of Plaza Mayor, the Puerta del Sol and the Museo del Prado, as reported by El Pais.
The study features a heat map with the most photographed areas in the city. Lying a distance away from the city’s historic center, there is a notable activity around the stadium, which stands in Madrid’s Chamartin district.
The Bernabeu is not only the favourite landmark amongst tourists but also performs well in the general statistics, coming second only to the historic city center and ahead of the Las Ventas bullring and the new skyscrapers on the Castellana.
The study also reveals that football is a driving force in the tourism industry in other cities across the world. London’s Stamford Bridge and the Emirates and the Parc des Princes in Paris also perform well in the heat maps that feature in the Universidad Complutense report.
This data took the researchers by surprise and they recognize that sporting arenas have become the new cathedrals of the 21st century. “We expected to find a lot of photos of the Palacio Real, the Templo de Debod and Cibeles but not quite so many of the Bernabeu”.