puerta del sol.jpg (42195 bytes)

The Puerta del Sol is in the Madrid of the Hasburgs (or the Madrid of the Austrias) section of Madrid.  This area of Madrid is so named because it was during the reign of this dynasty that this area and Madrid itself really began to develop. 

The Puerta del Sol is the geographical center of Spain.  This building is the "Casa de Correos" which is the headquarters of the Community of Madrid Autonomous government.  This would be equivalent to our state capital.   Above this building is a famous clock tower that all Spaniards looks towards on New Year's Eve.  Much like the ball in Times Square is our symbol for the beginning of the New Year.  In Spain a person eats one grape to countdown each of the twelve chimes.   As a matter of fact this picture was taken on New Year's eve.
Directly in front of this building is a stone slab which marks "Kilometer Zero".  This is the starting point for the 6 main highways in Spain.  Directly opposite the building is the most important statue in the square that of the "Bear and the Madroņo Tree" ("El Oso y El Madroņo") .  This is the symbol of the city of Madrid.  Follow the above link to discover what a madroņo tree is and why this statue is sometimes incorrectly called "The Bear and the Strawberry Tree".

Return to Madrid Page
Return to Puerta del Sol/Plaza Mayor Page