Puerta del Sol
One of the most well-known plazas in the country, Puerta del Sol is the historical and geographical heart of Spain. Named after Madrid's eastern city gate of the same location, the 15th century entryway was bathed in the rays of the rising sun due its eastern position. Littered with famous landmarks, Puerta del Sol is home to the famous Spanish clock tower whose bell marks the beginning of the New Year. The official symbol of Madrid, the El Oso y El Madroño, a 20-ton statue of a bear eating fruits off a Madrono tree, as well as a large equestrian statue of King Carlos III are also on display. Unmistakable is the luminous Tio Pepe sign, a longstanding hallmark of Puerta del Sol, and more discreet is the kilómetro cero marker on the pavement, which signals the official starting point of six of Spain's major highways and symbolically places Puerta del Sol as the centre of Spain, cementing it as a site of many rallies and protests against violence and war.
Transport: Metro to Sol Station