Vallecas [baˈʎekas] is a neighborhood of Madrid composed of two districts: Puente de Vallecas (population 240,917) and Villa de Vallecas (population 65,162). Vallecas was an independent village until 1950 when it became part of Madrid.
Vallecas is known for its working-class inhabitants who are very proud of their district and name it familiarly as Vallekas or Valle del Kas. Many initiatives that take place in the district show this countercultural attitude by replacing the letter c with k, examples of this are the local radio station Radio Vallekas, the local television channel Tele K, the music festival Vallekas Rock, etc.
The local pride coalesces around the Rayo Vallecano football team.
During the 1960s, many Spanish immigrants to the Madrid conurbation settled in Vallecas, forming the largest slum area around Madrid.
During the decades of Franco regime, Vallecas earned its reputation as a neighbourhood of resistance to right-wing dictatorship.
In the last years, the district of Vallecas Villa experienced an important enhancement with about 25.000 new flats and houses called "PAU de Vallecas" or "Ensanche de Vallecas", one of the biggest new areas in Madrid. Professional footballer Álvaro Negredo is Vallecas most famous export. Nicknamed The Beast of Vallecas, Negredo currently plays for Middlesbrough FC. The famous lightweight boxer Poli Díaz, nicknamed The Colt of Vallecas, also comes from this renowned working-class neighbourhood.
Media related to Villa de Vallecas at Wikimedia Commons
- Vallecas Todo Cultura (in Spanish)
- paudevallecas.org (website of a neighborhood-organisation in the new housing area in the district of Vallecas Villa, with web-forum, in Spanish)
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