Puerta del Sol is one of the best known places in the spanish capital. Translated into English it would be "Gate of the Sun". This square is one of the most lively places in the city – there is always something going on.
On this square you can find the Kilometre Zero, which is the center of the radial network of the six main roads streets in Spain which are reaching from this point over the while peninsula. Kilometre O is a particular location from which distances are traditionally measured.
Furthermore you can find there the famous clock, whose bells mark the traditional eating of the grapes on New Year's. So big crowds stand around the clock tower on the Real Casa de Correos and eat a grape for each chime of midnight for good luck in the coming year. New Year's is always a very big event there on the square, which is being broadcast live on TV now for more than 50 years.
The famous statue "The Oso & Madroño" from Antonio Navarro Santa Fe is the official symbol of the city although with an unclear origin – it seems that there used to be many bears in the fields around Madrid although the original symbol was supposed to be a female bear (osa). And the strawberry tree seems to be have actually been a hackberry tree (almez), which was once in abundance around Madrid.
The most emblematic building that you will find in the Plaza is the Post Office building, now the seat of the Government of the Community of Madrid. In the front of the building there is the clock used for the 12 strokes of New Year's Eve.
The Plaza del Sol has become a very famous place in the world after host the 15M movement, also known as the Indignant Movement (citizen movement created May 15, 2011).
It is always nice to sit on the square and have a coffee, watch the people walking around and just relax. So when you are in Madrid, this is definitely a place which shouldn't be missed. A highly recommended place is the bakery La Mallorquina, located in a corner of the square, next to the Calle Mayor.
You can get there with the Metro line 1, 2 and 3 and you get off at "Sol".
Kilometro Cero Galeria de Flickr de Laura Padgett
Oso de la Puerta del Sol Galeria de Flickr de Tomas Fano
Estación del Metro Plaza del Sol Galeria de Flickr de Tomas Fano