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Puerta del Sol
Explore Architectural Charms in Gate of Sun; Puerta del Sol
Located just outside the Casa de Correos, you'll see a peculiar stone slab plaqued on the pavement. The stone slab is called 'Kilometre Zero' famously known to symbolize a starting point of Spain's six national roads. The stone slab is there to replace the original stone placed in the plaza that have been deteriorated over years. Even today, Kilometre Zero have become one of the most prominent feature that forms uniqueness to Puerta del Sol square.
At a glimpse it might look like an ordinary hungry bear statue trying to reach for its yummy strawberry fruits meal. In fact, the statue holds more meaning, that is closely related to the capital city. Legend has it that centuries ago Madrid was named as 'Ursaria' which mean 'Land of Bears', due to high population of wild bears inhabitated forests of Madrid. The bear, and also the strawberry tree has been used as a symbol of Madrid city since medieval era. It is also a popular meeting up spot for the Madrilenos.
Every new year, tourists and locals alike come to Puerta del Sol and look up at the Clock of Puerta del Sol with full anticipation. The history of the clock tower can be traced back centuries ago, when a watchmaker from Spanish Navy was requested to create a clock that tells accurate time for Spaniards, to replace the old one which apparently didn't do its job properly. The clock was later donated to the people of Madrid and ever since its inauguration in 1866, the clock have been providing correct and exact time for them.
During the reign of King Carlos III, Madrid received tons of remarkable makeovers that can be enjoyed by modern citizens and tourists today. As a token of appreciation, a statue of the king riding on the back of his horse was erected and serve as an epicentrum of Puerta del Sol. The statue of King Carlos III is said to be the biggest statue displayed in Puerta del Sol.
The original La Mariblanca statue is stored safely in Casa de la Villa, but at least you'll get to admire its duplicate in Puerta del Sol. It is said that the majestic statue is there to replace an old fountain previously stood on the spot. La Mariblanca statue was sculpted according to imagery of Venus, Goddess of Love. Some even said that the statue actually depicts Diana (or Arthemis) the Huntress.
How to Get Tickets?
Puerta del Sol can be visited for free, which is perfect for you who seek for a free attraction which contain both historical and aesthetic values.
How To Get Around?
Getting around Puerta del Sol is easy. The square connects to many major attractions of Madrid, such as Church of San Gines, Choocolateria de San Gines, Preciados Street, Palacio de Gaviria, and more!
What Should I Wear?
Wear your most comfortable casual clothes when you're visiting Puerta del Sol. If you're planning to hit a bar or fancy restaurant nearby the plaza, you might want to dress up a little bit. People of Madrid are well known for their style, so it's a perfect chance to explore your clothing styles.
Best Time to Visit
The city square is always crowded, especially during the night. It might be best to come at night when the weather is much cooler plus you'll get to see various street performers in action.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, Puerta del Sol is pretty much a self-guided attraction. You'll have much more freedom by exploring the attractions yourself. Plus, most informations about each attraction can be found in this website anyway.
How To Get There?
Getting to Puerta del Sol is much easier if you departs from Plaza Mayor, since it only take few minutes walk. You can also take Metro trains from airport. Take Metro Line 8, Pink Line to Nuevos Ministerios station. From there, transfer to Metro Line 6 Grey Line and stop at Cuatros Caminos station. Take last transfer to Metro Line 1 Blue Line, Puerta del Sol is just few minutes away. Or if you hate Metros (like any of us do), you can simply take a taxi and tell the driver to take you to Puerta del Sol. You'll be there in no time