18 Sep Sol Neighbourhood
Hey Spaneasiers! With your Spanish course next to Sol, won’t you like to know a little more about this square? Today we will tell you information about this famous Spanish place that you must know.
The Puerta del Sol is the centre of Madrid’s social life, and is also a must for tourists visiting the capital. It owes its name to the sun that adorned one of the main entrance doors to Madrid – unfortunately nowadays doesn’t exist.
Although it is not a neighbourhood in itself, Sol is the pure centre of Madrid and Puerta del Sol, the zero kilometre of all roads in Spain. It is the meeting place for locals and tourists because of its location and the connection between different means of public transportation. The oldest building is the Post Office, current headquarters of the Presidency of the Community of Madrid, and its clock tower in front of which hundreds of people gather each New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year with the 12 campanadas.
Three things we must highlight in this square are next ones:
The Bear and the Madroño
One of the most iconic elements of the Puerta del Sol is the statue of Bear and Madroño, a symbol of Madrid.
Bear eating fruits of a strawberry tree. The official name of the statue is “El Oso y El Madroño”. According to the legend the original name of the city of Madrid was “Ursaria” (“Land of bears” in Latin), due to the high number of these animals that were in the adjacent forests. And together with the strawberry tree, have been the emblem or symbol of the city since the Middle Ages.
Here is located the geographical centre of all roads in the country, housing a granite plate that marks the zero kilometre of the radial highways of Spain.
Today the plate has become one of the main tourist attractions of the Puerta del Sol, being a must if you visit Madrid to take a photo at this point.
Tio Pepe poster
Formerly the Puerta del Sol was surrounded by large advertising posters, today only one that has become a symbol of the place is preserved, it is the Tío Pepe poster.
It changed its place from Hotel Paris to where you can see it nowadays, then it was restored and modernized, providing it with LED lighting that replaces the old neon and giving it a more modern look but respecting the original lines.