Under the square lies a public transport hub served by lines 1, 2 and 3 of the Madrid Metro.
The Mariblanca a female figure named for its white marble is a copy of a statue possibly of Venus, and so the restored pedestal claimswhich marks the place of a former fountain displaying that figure. The stairs to the Saint Philip church at the square were known as the Gradas de San Felipe, and were among the most prolific mentideros de la Corte this Spanish idiom sounds as "lie-spreaders of the Court", but it is related with the verb mentar, "to say about someone", not mentir, "to lie", so it is more appropriately translated as "places of the City where people gossip".
In addition to signalling the basis of numbering in the Spanish road system, the symbolic nature of the plaza ensures that it is the site of many rallies and protests, particularly against violence and war.
History[ edit ] Tiled street-sign of Puerta del Sol with a historic depiction of the square The Puerta del Sol originated as one of the gates in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century. Outside the wall, medieval suburbs began to grow around the Christian Wall of the 12th century.
Untilthe statue stood on the north side at the entrance to Calle del Carmen. Sol has seen protests against the terrorism perpetrated the March 11th attacks on commuter trains, and Spain's involvement in the Iraq War .
Famous buildings and landmarks[ edit ] The Puerta del Sol contains a number of well known sights both domestically and internationally associated with Spain. Puerta del Sol, Madrid. Street music is also common in the area.
This is demonstrated by a plaque on the floor of the square, marking the exact point of Km. Currently, dozens of committees have their assemblies in the iconic square. The building was the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior and State Security during the Francisco Franco dictatorship.
Since 12 Junethe square has held a free-standing domed structure made from pallets, which served as an information point for the M Movement. On the south side, the old Post Office now serves as the office of the President of Madridthe head of the regional government of the Autonomous Community of Madrid not to be confused with the Madrid City Council, which is housed elsewhere.
The area remains active late into the night and early morning since nearby bars and dance clubs often only start entertainment at 1 am.
It serves as the kilometre zero from which all radial roads in Spain are measured. It is also the reference for street numbers in Madrid, which begin at the street-end that is closest to Puerta del Sol. The demonstrations then spread to more than sixty other cities throughout Spain.