Welcome to my "Puerta del Sol" description page, for photos & videos of this site click --> HERE.

The Photo pages and videos of Sol are sponsored by Academia =elemadrid=, please visit them if you are interested in studying Spanish, be it at home or in Spain. Thanks, Jeremy...

    Puerta del Sol was one of the eastern gates in the city walls built around 1440. At this late date, the walls weren't built to defend against attacks, but instead to control people and merchandise entering the city, mainly for taxation but also to decrease the possibilities of plague. The gate itself was probably located between what are now Carretas and Montera streets, looking east towards the Carrera de San Jeronimo. The name Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate) may have been due to this orientation, though some experts think that a sun may have been painted on the gate. A new gate, built in 1539, was torn down in 1570 to widen the access to the city, with the square retaining until today the name of this long-vanished city gate. The present layout of the square is from renovations in the mid-nineteenth century that created the semi-oval shape, and a more recent renovation that left most of the strolling space on the north side.
 
    Today "Sol" is a bustling square, filled with cars, buses and people and more people. The pedestrian shopping streets on the north are usually jammed in the afternoons, especially around Christmas, when the bright lights of the square (quite pretty) compete with the rather garish displays in that shopping area. "Sol" has several of the classic meeting places in the center of the city: the bear-and-tree statue, in front of the Mallorquina pastry shop or at Kilometer "0" marker(south side of the square), from which the six radial highways in Spain count their distances.

    Puerta del Sol is Spain's equivalent of Times Square. Every year on New Year's Eve, the square fills with people to watch the golden ball drop and hear the clock chime in the New Year. As the chimes ring, everybody trys to eat the traditional twelve grapes for luck in the New Year, followed by huge gulps of Spanish champage (called "cava") and sometimes an inebriated leap into one of the fountains for a festive, though chilly, beginning to the year.

A few of the photos on my Sol Photo page were taken from the stairway and inside the dining room of "La Mallorquina" pastry shop on the corner of la Puerta del Sol and la Calle Mayor. If you are in Madrid for a visit, a special treat that I always enjoy is sitting in the dining room on the second floor of the shop and having a "cafe con leche and a palmera de chocolate" (Chocolate pastry in the shape of a heart with the bottom rounded off) as you enjoy the great views of Sol from above. For only 450 pesetas (approx. $2.50 USD) , you get a rather special experience. A Jeremy must do!

check out the panoramic

Puerta del Sol - jeremy's practical info
(you can click on the icons to see the line trajectories and a map of the metro)
Metro stop: Sol - lines click to see complete line trajectory, click to see complete line trajectory, click to see complete line trajectory.
 
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