A Historical Spanish Holiday
One of the locations very few would want to miss while visiting Madrid, Spain is the Puerta del Sol, or ‘Gate of the Sun’. This is a roadwork system that looks much like the sun. It starts with a slab outside the Casa de Correos, and going out from that slab are the set of six roads that make up the highways of Spain. As you begin your holiday of exploring Madrid, this is the place to begin. At one time, the gates were the entryway into Madrid. Back in the 15th century it was important to be fortified and the city was encompassed by a protective wall.
Now your holiday to this area will find less in the arena of military fortifications and more in the arena of interesting attractions. Among them, a massive bear sculpture. He is eating fruit from a madrone tree. The tree is where the city gets it’s name, and the Bear is a symbol of strength for the people of the city. As you continue your travel into the city down Alcala Street, stop at the Regina Hotel.
From this location you can see the unique statues on top of the banks before your continue your trip. One of Madrid’s most important sites is not far away. It is the House of the Post Office. You will spot this building as the one with the large clock face on the side of the tower. It was built in 1768, and if you happen to be in the area around the New Year Holiday, this will be the location of the major celebrations. The holiday celebration is the traditional festival eating of Twelve Grapes. When the clock chimes, all will cheer in celebration of the New Year. In addition to being a location for celebration and merriment during holiday times, the Puerta del Sol is also a location that has more serious moments as well. It is commonly a location where political demonstrations and protests are held. It is very possible you will see one during your travels.
Also in this area are all the other things you will be looking for on your vacation. There are a large number of shops that offer anything from department store shopping to specialty shops, antique shops and other venues. There are also a number of attractions to view, as well as a great supply of restaurants so you can try out a lot of the local fare. You will not be at a loss for night life when you visit Madrid. Often some areas just start kicking into high gear after midnight. There are street musicians, and a festive attitude as well as a number of bars and dance establishments to keep you busy until the wee hours of the morning. And when morning comes and you are ready to take up touring again, you are just a short distance from the Royal Palace or Palacio Real, parliament, Plaza Mayor, and many more shops and restaurants waiting for you along the way.