Puerta del Sol – the central square in Madrid that everybody in the city knows about. It’s one of the busiest areas not only in Madrid but in all of Spain. At any point in the day, it is full of Spaniards and tourists alike.
If you are looking for more information about Puerta del Sol, this is the place to be. We are taking a look at the history of Sol, what to do there, and why it is so special.
Puerta del Sol means ‘door of the sun’. It is the complete centre of the Spanish capital Madrid, with several major streets surrounding at every angle.
The history started in the 1400’s when Madrid evolved as a small suburb. But it wasn’t until the city grew that Sol became famous – however, in the 17th century, it became an important meeting place for all affairs in Madrid.
Puerta del Sol quickly emerged as the place to go in Madrid. From there you could already at that time reach most of the important places in Madrid by foot. Something that is still true to this day.
Famous buildings in and around Sol
Several important buildings were made throughout the years in Sol.
The main one was the Post Office, which was designed in the 18th century. This post office later became the office of the President of Madrid, which it still is.
Sol also has the famous statue of the Bear and the Strawberry tree. This has become the main symbol of Madrid as a city.
This is what the statue looks like:
In the south of Puerta del Sol, you will find the famous statue of King Charles III. One of several statues in the area.
Later on, the metro station was built underground. To this day it is one of the largest and most used metro stations in Madrid, with three different lines passing through constantly. Sol also has Renfe cercanías underground – in other words, it is easy to get anywhere from Sol thanks to the underground constructions.
Plenty of the surrounding buildings in the square are interesting from an architecturial point of view. Often, however, they are decorated with advertisements. Some are offices, some are apartments, while others are stores. On the west front there are plenty of classic stores, on the streets that lead to La Latina. You can also access a Corte Inglés mall directly from the north side of the square.
The clock in Puerta del Sol works as the official timepiece of Spain. It is always accurate and in order!
Events @ Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol is a famous meeting place for all occasions. Everybody in Madrid knows Sol, and tourists also become familiar with it almost immediately. It is the very heart of Madrid and attracts a lot of events.
The main one is on New Year’s Eve. There is a huge celebration in Sol, which is nationally televised all over Spain. It’s an amazing place to be at midnight in Madrid.
There are always plenty of street performers in Sol. Annoyingly, there are also people who try to sell shirts, although they are rarely being pushy about it (which is fortunate). It’s always crowded, day and night.
There are often political demonstrations in Sol. It is also the starting point for a few private sport and exercising events.
By simply showing up at Puerta del Sol at any given time, you will always find that something is going on there.