Gate of the Sun – Madrid Spain’s Famous Central Square
Puerta del Sol
The Spanish called it the “Gate of the Sun” and for visitors to Spain’s Puerta del Sol, they’ll know exactly what the Spaniards were talking about.
The Gate of the Sun gates were once the main entrance to Madrid Spain. Like many medieval towns of that time period, it was surrounded in the 15th century by a protective wall and it is through the gates that entry to the city was gained.
In this way, it was well known to traders and visitors from all over the world. After the walls around Madrid were removed, it remained as a meeting place. Interestingly, the location is still the major meeting point in Madrid.
Spanish architecture looms big through out Puerta del Sol, speaking of a past of opulence and grandeur. One famous example is a very large sculpture of a bear eating fruit. The fruit the bear is eating is reported to be from the Madrone tree where the scenic city of Madrid derives it’s name from. The iconic bear itself is a great symbol for the people of Madrid.
One of the city’s most important Madrid buildings is the House of the Post Office. It’s the central focus for the city’s New Year celebrations. Also there is a paving slab where the six main Spanish highways originate. Because of this, the location is an excellent spot to begin exploring not just Madrid, but the entire country of Spain.
Leaving Puerta Del Sol, it’s only a short walk to other popular Madrid attractions such as Plaza Mayor and Palacio Real. The Parliament building is also nearby and the Metro is easily accessible from the area.
Madrid offers many side streets that offer shops, restaurants, and many other attractions. Any visitor should spend as much time as possible touring this area. During the warm Madrid evenings, it’s the best time to go as the bars and cafes that line the historic streets. They will be full of both tourists, local citizens as well as many street performers who come to entertain.