Biggest Cities once in the Spanish Empire

Name the most populous modern-day urban areas whose territory was once part of the Spanish Empire.
Not including Portuguese territories during the Iberian Union
Urban-area population according to citypopulation.de, January 2021
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: February 28, 2021
First submittedJanuary 29, 2016
Times taken29,128
Rating4.80
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Population
City
26.3 m
Manila
24.5 m
Mexico City
17.6 m
Los Angeles
16.6 m
Buenos Aires
11.1 m
Lima
9.80 m
Bogota
7.80 m
Santiago
7.75 m
San Francisco
Population
City
7.30 m
Dallas
6.80 m
Houston
6.70 m
Madrid
6.35 m
Miami
6.15 m
Milan
5.60 m
Monterrey
5.55 m
Guadalajara
4.88 m
Barcelona
Population
City
4.80 m
Phoenix
4.48 m
Tampa
4.15 m
Naples
4.10 m
Medellín
4.03 m
Puebla
4.00 m
Santo Domingo
3.80 m
Denver
3.78 m
Caracas
+21
Level 85
Jan 30, 2016
Good quiz. Didn't know Spain had control of Italy at one point.
+13
Level ∞
Jan 30, 2016
Just parts of Italy...
+3
Level 87
Feb 2, 2016
That was news to me as well.
+10
Level 74
Feb 8, 2016
I knew about the Kingdom of Naples, but I'm very surprised about Milan.
+1
Level 55
Feb 28, 2021
you should read the Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni then. It's set in northern Italy (mainly Lombardy) in the 1620s - '30s, during the Spanish rule. :)
+2
Level 49
Sep 9, 2016
Amsterdam and Brussels would have also counted if they weren't so small.
+2
Level 60
Feb 4, 2017
the kingdom of naples (including Sardinia and Sicily, territories they inherited through Aragon) and later the duchy of Lombardia (with Milan).

The Spanish infamously also sacked Rome but didn't take the city for themselves.

+1
Level 75
Feb 5, 2016
Isn't Barcelona STILL part of Spain?
+9
Level 48
Feb 14, 2016
Yes it is, what's your point?
+3
Level 80
Feb 28, 2021
"was once part of" suggests that the quiz is for cities that are no longer part of the Spanish Empire. Of course, there is no Spanish Empire any more so, no, Madrid and Barcelona are no longer part of the Spanish Empire.
+29
Level 35
May 12, 2016
Strangely, so is Madrid...
+5
Level 70
Mar 2, 2021
I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.
+1
Level 64
Apr 1, 2021
RIP Mitch :(
+3
Level 68
Mar 17, 2016
wow, denver. I didn't realize that Spain held territory in north america that far north. I knew they held parts of California and Texas and Florida, but didn't think it went much further north though.
+21
Level 69
May 12, 2016
Yes... somewhere on the Internet there is a meme floating around of "we will pay for Donald Trump's wall as long as it reflects the correct border" and Mexico had a HUGE chunk of the Mountain West.
+1
Level 37
May 13, 2016
That's different cockybra, it does make sense in a way, they were forced to sell, way different than the Russians selling it willingly.
+4
Level 61
May 19, 2016
Maybe the fact that it's a meme and not a serious political proposal is also a clue to it not being serious, cockybra...
+2
Level 47
Oct 23, 2016
+cockybra We actually did go to war over the Texas area, and then we forced them to sell the rest of what is now the American southwest to us. One of the 5 actual wars the USA declared.
+2
Level 71
Aug 2, 2017
Spain did not get it's territory by peaceful means anyway, mass slaughter in most cases.
+1
Level 51
May 20, 2020
I just went for the states with Spanish names, California, Arizona, new Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Florida, but as others indicated the whole Louisiana purchase could also be included.
+5
Level 87
May 14, 2016
Spain held territory around Denver on maps only, the Arapahoe held Denver during that time.
+1
Level 54
May 20, 2016
The whole area of the later Louisiana Purchase had been Spanish between 1762 and 1802.
+2
Level 71
May 12, 2016
Milan and Denver were really surprising
+7
Level 78
May 12, 2016
Surprised that San Diego and Las Vegas didn't make the list. I just started typing in Florida cities and that's how I got Naples.
+4
Level 84
Apr 16, 2019
San Diego and Tijuana combined, as under old Spanish borders, would have 5 million people.
+2
Level 35
May 12, 2016
This sucks. I only got three AND I MISSED THE CITY WHERE I LIVE!!!
+1
Level 40
Apr 16, 2019
Same, though I got ten
+1
Level 62
May 13, 2016
Well I got Tampa but missed Buenos Aires...
+2
Level 36
May 15, 2016
Amsterdam and Brussels were also part of the Spanish Empire under Charles V and Philip II.
+1
Level 45
Apr 7, 2020
Debatable, it was part of the Hapsburg Empire, which also consisted of the HRE and Austria. And both cities aren't really big enough to be on the list. and Tampa is apparently?
+1
Level 36
May 15, 2016
Oops--but they don't meet the population threshold of the quiz.
+4
Level 37
Jun 5, 2016
Haha, I forgot about cities in Spain itself.
+1
Level 32
Jul 15, 2016
I missed Phoenix, Tampa, Denver and Monterrey, I'm kind of embarassed about that last one. I always forget Monterrey exists.
+1
Level 76
Nov 18, 2016
What about Amsterdam and Brussels as part of the Spanish Netherlands?
+1
Level 57
Jun 20, 2020
Had the same thought, but Amsterdam has only around 800k population and Brussels only less than 200k.
+1
Level 58
Feb 4, 2017
how in the name of god the almighty did i forget spain controlled florida HOW DID I FORGET SUCH A SIMPLE CONCEPT
+1
Level 54
Jun 8, 2017
Completely forgot about the occupation of southern modern USA.
+1
Level 44
Jan 9, 2018
forgot about cities in Spain lol
+1
Level 47
Oct 30, 2018
Spain controlled Louisiana from 1762 to 1802.
+3
Level ∞
Feb 14, 2019
Neither New Orleans nor Saint Louis are large enough to qualify for this quiz.
+1
Level 47
Jan 6, 2020
What threshold did you use ? 2m or 3m (2 would make Kansas City pass) ? Wasn't Minneapolis part of the Louisiana Purchase territory gain too ?
+1
Level 67
Mar 8, 2020
looks like 3,5 since the first is 3,7. Perhaps 3 but 2 seems much too low, I think that would make the list expand by more than one.
+1
Level 45
Nov 10, 2020
Wasn't chicago part of louisiana as well???
+1
Level 46
Feb 16, 2021
no
+1
Level 28
Mar 5, 2019
What about Brussels and Amsterdam? The Spanish Netherlands.
+2
Level 75
Apr 16, 2019
They´ve got far less than 3 Mio inhabitants.
+1
Level 45
Apr 7, 2020
Amsterdam has around 900.000 inhabitants, Brussel is a difficult one but defenitely not enough people. It's even debatable if Brussel is the biggest city in Belgium or if it's Antwerp. It's a bit like: Is Forth Worth part of Dallas or not when talking about inhabitants?
+1
Level 40
Apr 16, 2019
huh, I never realized Denver had a bigger population than Amsterdam or Brussels
+2
Level 67
Mar 8, 2020
The municipality of Amsterdam has a bigger population than Denver (741,636 vs 682,545 source worldometer realtime population). (Brussels is bigger than both)

This quiz however uses the urban area or agglomeration according to citypopulation.de Each country defines this differently though. So it is hard to properly compare.

+1
Level 45
Apr 7, 2020
No really accurate, the municipality of Amsterdam has 872.000 inhabitants according to themselves. If it's the urban area it's even harder to determine where it ends, but it sits at roughly 2.4 million people for Amsterdam, but it could also be said that Utrecht, Den Haag and Rotterdam are all part of the same urban area, and in that case it would be somewhere between 4.5 and 8.2 million inhabitants, it's quite loosely defined. Not sure about the others though.
+1
Level 45
May 2, 2020
I forgot about Texas... I spent all of elementary school there, where they retaught the same Texas history course and I still forgot it... oh boy quarantine is making me real stupid haha
+5
Level 59
May 23, 2020
Taipei was once in the Spanish Empire during 1626-1642.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Formosa

+1
Level 21
Aug 2, 2020
totally forgot it meant metro area and so once quezon city didn't work i didn't bother trying manila dammit
+2
Level 75
Sep 14, 2020
Puzzled European here . On nearly all USA population quizzes San Antonio and San Diego are above San Francisco yet neither appear here ????.
+2
Level ∞
Feb 28, 2021
It's the difference between urban area and city proper population. If you've ever been to San Francisco, you'll know that its urban area it is much, much larger than San Antonio's. However, the city of San Francisco is only 47 square miles while San Antonio is 504, so the city proper population of San Antonio is larger.
+1
Level 55
Feb 28, 2021
Didn't Spain have concessions in Tianjin?
+3
Level 77
Mar 1, 2021
Spain had control of Taipei for a while.
+1
Level 66
Mar 6, 2021
What about Brazilian cities that were under control of Spain between 1580-1640 during the Iberian Union? Sao Paulo, Rio and Luanda surely would make the list
+2
Level 74
Mar 7, 2021
They were under the same monarchs rather than being part of Spain itself, I think that's QM's distinction - but that doesn't really work as the Italian possessions were also, strictly, separate titles (Kingdom of Naples, Duchy of Milan, etc).
+1
Level 67
Mar 12, 2021
All of the ones I missed were in USA besides Caracas. :( I didn't even think of those cities I was just thinking of cities where the country that Spanish is an official language.
+1
Level 73
Apr 30, 2021
Hmmm, I misspelt 'Puebla' as 'Pueblo'.
+1
Level 53
Jun 8, 2021
SAN JOSE IN CALIFORNIA HAS A LARGER POPULATION THAN SAN FRANCISCO
+1
Level 53
Jun 16, 2021
I second the comment about San Jose, CA having a larger population than San Francisco. So does San Diego (even more so, when combined with Tijuana!)