Puerta del Sol is one of the busiest public squares situated in the heart of Madrid. Until early 1500’s, it used to be a gate of the city wall, which faced east and was decorated with a sun’s image. Much of its present ambiance owes to renovation works that took place during 19th Century mid. Read on for a compilation list of best attractions in Puerta del Sol, which you can catch when on a Madrid city tour.
The stone stab outside of a building on the southern part of the public square is named Kilometer Zero for a reason. It marks the entry point for half a dozen national roads. The actual stone, which was erected here in 1950, has been replaced in the 2000’s since it underwent deterioration over the years. The newer, brighter stone slab is the mainstay of the plaza, but you have to be a keen observer to notice it on the pavement.
The Bear and the Strawberry Tree Statue
El Oso y El Madroño, which weighs 20 ton, depicts a bear likeness eating fruits from a tree. The symbolic statue alludes to the Spanish capital’s actual name ‘Ursaria’, which translates to “Land of Bears” in Latin. The legend has it that there were plenty of bears and strawberry trees in nearby forests of the present city, which had been Madrid’s symbol from the Middle Ages. It now makes the central square instantly recognizable, alongside several other architectural features.
Tio Pepe Sign
This neon-lit signboard dominates an end of Puerta del Sol and stands for the sherry brand of the same name. The authorities of Hotel Paris took down the sign when the building was refurbished in 2011. However, it would return in its formative neon-lit style in 2014. Since the signboard of Tio Pepe was reinstated slightly away from its actual spot, it has been a noticeable part of Madrid’s skyline, entertaining both natives and tourists alike.
The city is one of Spain’s go-to shopping destinations, and this street is one of its busiest. It begins at this plaza and culminates at Plaza de Santo Domingo. It is home to several department stores, couture shops, apartments, and other posh areas that attract people from the world of fashion and entertainment.