Puerta del Sol

Madrid for kids

Mission: Locate these key sites.

1.   KM 0

This is a plaque on the ground that shows the spot where the measurements for Spains six major highays begin.   Find the Plaque and have your feet photographed on it.   Clue: It lies in the shadow of the clock.

2.  The Symbol of Madrid

This is a sculptue of an animal eating berries from the madrono tree [or strawberry tree].  Its not a native tree to Spain but was chosen because its name sounds like Madrid.   Apparently the berries are just too sweet to eat and get turned into jam ....   what can possibly be too sweet?

Make sure you get a photo taken with the bear.

3.   The Clock Tower

On New Years Eve people come to Sol for the stroke of midnight.  With each strike of the bell they eat a grape to bring luck for the New Year.
On a more gruesome side, the building with the big clock used to be the Ministry of the Interior from 1847.   During the Franco regime torture and other human rights abuse happened in the police cells under the building.  
In 1963, a member of the underground Communist party allegedly fell from the 3rd floor window.
Miraculously he survived, but was then executed a short time after.
Madrid residents hurl objects at the French troops since they have no other weapons

4.  Identify which King is on the horse

(refer to kings on horses)Two hundred or so years ago, on May 2 1808 a sniper shot at Napoleons troops and this triggered an uprising and massacre.  But the Spaniards fighting the well armed french troops were crushed.   Goya has two amazing paintings in the Prado, one of the 2nd May and then the 3rd May, when activists were executed.   continue

Gateway to the Sun, is a popular meeting place because most Metro lines pass under it and because many roads converge here.Dont bother trying to find the gatehouse, it disappeared long ago.

The french had rifles and bayonettes ...  and many were on horses

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