Puerta de Alcalá


The gate was built to welcome the arrival of King Philip II´s wife from Valencia. Originally the gate was located a hundred meters closer to Cibeles Square, and it takes the name from Alcala, the first town on the way to Valencia.

The current gate is the creation of King Carlos III, who determined the new location and commissioned the new design from Sabatini who created a gate with five door, three semicircular and two lintel. 

On the front, a plaque states the name of the king and the date of creation: 1778 written in Roman numerals, crowned by a coat of arms containing the allegories of Fame and Genius.

Formerly each arch had a grate which used to be closed every day at sunset.

Nowadays impacts from cannonballs fired by French troops in 1823 can still be seen, from when they tried to support King Fernando VII against liberal opposition.

Alcala Street, where the gate is located, is still a path over which shepherds walk through the center of Madrid with their sheep once a year.