La Puerta del Sol in Madrid
If you ever visit Madrid, you will soon learn that La Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun) is the hub of the city. It is always alive with protests, music, tourists, and locals. I absolutely enjoy spending time in this amazing and historic site.
This history of the La Puerta del Sol originates in the 15th century when one of the gates of the city walls stood here. Of course, since then, the city has expanded and time has eroded a lot of Sol’s old building and wall.
Sol also has the above plaque on the ground which is called the Kilometro Cero. This is the center for the highways in Spain. All Spanish roads lead to this spot.
There are plenty of places to shop, eat, and drink on or near Sol. One of my favorite places to visit in Sol is La Mallorquina. La Mallorguina is a famous pastry and coffee shop that has amazing delicious treats to be enjoyed. I come here one or two days out of the week for my morning coffee and to find out what is going on in the city.
For more information on La Mallorquina visit their website at: http://www.pastelerialamallorquina.es
Another historical site in Sol is the Presidencia de la Comunidad de Madrid (Presidency of the Madrid Community). This building used to be the old Post Office and the bell tower at the top of the building (which is not pictured below) rings for the traditional eating of the twelve grapes and for bringing in the new year.
In 1808, at this very spot, defenders of Spain fought against Napoleon’s troops during the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula.
Another must see site in Sol is the Bear and the Madrono Tree. This is the heraldic symbol of Madrid.*1 You will also find this symbol on crests, stickers, and Atletico Madrid’s soccer uniforms.
Another thing worth mentioning is the statue of Charles III in the center of Sol. His nickname was “el rey alcalde” or the “mayor king”. Charles was known for his many public works for Madrid.*2
More photos for your viewing pleasure.
Sol is relatively safe, however due to the amount of people walking through daily, it is a target rich environment for pick pockets. Therefore, stay vigilant and keep both eyes on your personal belonging.
When you visit Madrid and find yourself standing in La Puerta del Sol, have a coffee at La Mallorquina, read the plaques on the Presidencia de la Comunidad de Madrid, take a few pictures in front of the bear and madroso tree statue, and find a spot near the fountains so you can people watch for hours. Enjoy!
*1&*2 taken from wikipedia.com
Copyright 2014 TORO Media, LLC