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Why Visit Puerta del Sol, Madrid

The world-famous Gate of the Sun called "Puerta del Sol" in Spanish is a bustling square located in the very heart of the capital of Spain. The Puerta originated as one of the gates in the city walls surrounding 5th century Madrid, taking its name from the rising sun coming through the oriented east gate.

Many historic sights and popular landmarks on the renowned square have made it to our days and are major Madrid tourist attractions. The red brick Casa de Correos (the old post office) built as the city’s main post office in 1768 is decorated with the well-known grand clock, the bells of which mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a new year. On this holiday people fill the square waiting for the clock's bells to strike midnight, and as the tradition goes they swallow a grape at each gong.

The square's main building houses the regional government of the Comunidad de Madrid. You can also take a look at the kilometer-zero plaque - the symbolic center of Spain, measuring the country's network of roads. Don't miss the statue of Charles III of Spain, who was nicknamed "el rey alcalde" ("the mayor-king") due to the effective public works program he has founded, the famous Tío Pepe lighted sign above the square's eastern building, and, of course, the symbol of Madrid - El Oso y El Madroño. The 20-ton statue of a bear and a strawberry tree located on the square's east side has become one of the most favored places in the center of Spain's capital.

Experience the gracious, crowded hemisphere of Puerta del Sol's elegant facades. It is a bright example of Spanish historic legacy, a transportation crossroads and simply a beautiful square.

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