Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol
It received its name thanks to a sun represented on the East gate of the wall, known by same name. It used to be a very popular place where people of different walks of live used to meet to talk about anything. The meeting point was the steps of Saint Felipe convent found in 1547. As it was always crowded, the Army used to recruit soldiers there.
In 1818 the convent was destroyed by fire and on top the first condominium building was built known as Casa Cordero.
Nowadays one of the main buildings is called Casa de Correos (Post building) where a tower is erected with a templete that contains the famous clock that strikes twelve times to announce New Year. On the building is a plaque in memory of those who gave their life for Spain: People dead during the revolution against French troops and those killed by terrorist bomb attacks on March 11th 2004.
At the base of this building the plate that marks the starting point (0 Km) of all national roads can be seen.
On the other side of this building you can see the statue of the Bear and the strawberry tree, the symbol and coat of arms of Madrid.
On the west side of the square, a lottery sales woman sits to whom thousands of inhabitants go to buy their tickets to try their luck in the famous Christmas lottery.
On the opposite site, if you look to the top of the buildings you can see what were emblematic symbols of the square, lighted advertisements, of which now only one remains, Tío Pepe (uncle Pepe) a famous sherry brand.