The area was the scene of fierce fighting during the Spanish Civil War -especially in November 1936, during the Battle of Madrid, when Nationalist troops tried to fight their way into the area. Unaccustomed to street fighting, they took heavy casualties. For the remainder of the Siege of Madrid, the front lines ran through the streets of Carabanchel, until Republican Madrid fell in March 1939.
Carabanchel is among the most diverse neighborhoods in the country, with a large population of immigrants, mostly from North Africa but also some from South America and Eastern Europe, as well as native-born Spaniards.
The Gómez Ulla Military Hospital, formerly known as Hospital de Carabanchel, is located in the area.
The district is administratively divided into 7 wards (Barrios):