Where everything starts
A famous old song spoke about looking for a "permanent center of gravity". When I listen to these words, I always think about Puerta del Sol in Madrid, supposed to be the Kilometer Zero of Spain: the centre of the radial network of Spanish roads.
Don't if it can guarantee a permanent center of gravity, but for sure Puerta del Sol is one of the must see in Madrid.
Recently on the headlines for being the birth place of the Spanish 15M movement, Puerta del Sol has been part of the history and the look of the city for 5 centuries.
The name comes from far away: Puerta del Sol originated as one of the gates in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century, with a rising sun decorating the entry, since the gate was oriented to the east. Now it is located in the very heart of Madrid and it is an important meeting point.
(credits by AntonioTajuelo.com)
The Palacio Real, Plaza Mayor and the Parliament are located at few steps. Since this is now Madrid's most central location, it is an excellent area to stay during a vacation in Madrid. Central located, nice to walk around, easy connected by transportation, full of bars, restaurants, shops. And full of people: yes, if you are travelling alone and want to meet some friend, may be this could be a good starting point!
If you will be there for New Year Eve celebration, well, take in count that the square contains the famous clock whose bells mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a new year.
There are many dark legends about the clock and its tower. It is said that since the beginning stranges fact started to happen: a priest was imployed for warding off evil spirits that was frightening the workers!
(fotoblog de Antonio Castro)
Another legend is about Napoleon's troops entering the city of Madrid: a captain of dragoons French occupied the building accompanied by a group of soldiers who survived in the early days of the uprising in Madrid. However, in few time the locals discovered the French soldiers and surrounded the Post Office. The French Captain wasn't found. Legend says Lucifer himself helped him hiding and escaping. To find it, all watchmakers specialists across the country were called to review the machinery. They just found a little mouse!