Hotel Europa

A trip back in time to the Puerta del Sol

By | 3 October, 2018 | 0 comments

Edificio del Hotel Europa poco después de su construcción

The heart of Madrid is the Puerta del Sol and it is where you will find our hotel, located in one of the iconic buildings that characterizes it today. However, the square dates back to the 17th century and it has taken on different forms throughout history that you can read more about on the Puerta del Sol: Un viaje en el tiempo web page.

The Puerta del Sol: from yesterday to today

From the very first mention of the Puerta del Sol on the Teixeira map, the plaza has been used for different purposes. While it started as a market, in the 19th century it became the home of official buildings and a meeting place.

Its origins

The Puerta del Sol started out as a simple crossroads and market. The first map of which we are aware dates back to 1656.

Installation of public buildings

In the second half of the 18th century, coinciding with the reign of Charles III, Madrid started to become a metropolis. It was at that point when streets began to spring up, improvements were made to public lighting and sanitation networks and new services were created. The Casa de Correos building, which today serves as the headquarters for the Autonomous Government of the Community of Madrid, the bells of which ring in the new year every December 31st, dates back to 1766. The clock itself is from 1866, inaugurated by Queen Isabella II on her birthday.

Urban Reform of the Puerta del Sol

In the mid-19th century, the need arose to change the built environment of the Puerta del Sol and the old buildings were demolished in 1857. The project by Lucio del Valle was approved in 1859, giving the plaza a new shape, the familiar semicircle of today. In 1860 the current buildings were erected, along with the Canal de Isabel II fountain and, in 1862, it became what it is today.

The Puerta del Sol today

We must not disregard the importance of the Puerta del Sol as a meeting place for both locals and visitors today.

It is the kilometer zero of Spain’s radial roads and Madrid’s geographic center. It is also a focal point of public life in Madrid at the cultural, social and political levels which we can better understand today thanks to this online memory project.

Categories: Puerta del Sol

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