The Puerta is located in the very heart of Madrid. Immediately to the southwest lies the Plaza Mayor; the Palacio Real, the official home of the Royal Family, is further west. Parliament and the museum district are to the east and the train station Atocha is to the southeast.
In the middle of the square is a large equestrian statue of King Carlos III. The King looks out to a beautiful 18th century red brick building, the former main post El Oso y El Madroño office.
The Puerta is also the location of the symbol of Madrid: a 20 ton statue of a bear eating fruits from a tree. The official name of the statue is ‘El Oso y El Madroño’. The Madroño is a tree related to the strawberry tree.
In front of the El Oso y El Madroño office, on the pavement is the “kilómetro cero” plaque, marking the center of the Spanish road network. It is the starting point from where all the highway distances are measured. It is also the symbolic center of Spain.
From there it was on to Plaza Mayor, which wasn’t really impressive at night. I expected something like St Mark’s Square in Venice, but this wasn’t even in the same constellation as that spectacle.
Next on the Madrid night list was the Catedral de la Almudena
Now walking into a church at night can be creepy enough, but when walking around at closing time and the organist starts wailing away … it is downright super creepy!
I think one gets the idea from the video and pictures!
After the Cathedral, it was on the Royal Palace, which was closed and not very well lit for pictures. From there it was on to “El Real”
Finally it was time to head back to the apartment, but not before stopping at a typical Madrileno grocery, where the following scene drew my attention … how does video poker mix with hams?? I’ll never know!