Puerta del Sol
The Puerta del Sol ("Gate of the Sun") is one of the best known and busiest places in Madrid.
This is the centre of the radial network of Spanish roads (Km 0).
Tourist Attractions in this place:
Also contains the famous clock whose
bells mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a New Year (in the Christmas).
The Puerta del Sol originated as one of the gates in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century.
Outside the wall, medieval suburbs began to grow around the Christian Wall of the 12th century.
The name of the gate came from the rising sun which decorated the entry, since the gate was oriented to the east.
In the middle of the Puerta del Sol is a large equestrian statue of King Carlos III, installed here in 1997.
The King looks out on a beautiful 18th century red brick building, the Casa de Correos (The House of the Post Office). It was built between 1766 and 1768.
In front of the Casa de Correos, on the pavement, is the "kilometer 0" plaque.
El Oso y El Madroño. The Puerta del Sol is also the location of the most famous symbol of Madrid: a 20 ton statue of a bear eating fruits from a tree. The official name of the statue is 'El Oso y El Madroño'.
According to legend the original name of the city was "Ursaria" ("land of bears" in Latin), due to the high number of these animals that were found in the adjacent forests,
which, together with the arbutus ("madroño" in Spanish), have been the emblem or symbol (The Bear and the Strawberry Tree) of the city from the Middle Ages.
After pointing out the giant "Tio Pepe" sign dominating one end of the square.
Preciados Street begins at Puerta del Sol and ends at Plaza Callao (Gran Vía), it is one of the most shopping streets of Madrid.
Puerta del Sol, S/N
* Lines 1, 2 and 3
- Sol station.