Bookmark and Share

August 7, 2014

Street artists add character to Madrid's center

Entertainers create a fun atmosphere in a historical setting in Madrid.

By Elizabeth Jones

MADRID- On average, you can find 10 or more characters, artists and musicians milling around the Puerta del Sol entertaining tourists and locals with their numerous talents and displays.

The Puerta del Sol, also known as the “Sun Gate” or of the Sun,” is the original site of the city’s eastern gate in the 15th century. Construction of the plaza began in the 16th century but it didn’t hold the same importance until the Casa de Correos was built THERE in 1768. It went through a renovation process between 1854 and 1860 where it took on its current form. The Casa de Correos , originally part of the post office, now functions as the headquarters of the President of Madrid’s Autonomous Community. The building is gathered around each year to watch the clock tower strike midnight for New Year’s Eve. Directly in front of the building is a plaque marking Kilometer Zero. This is the starting point for Spain’s six national roads. On the eastern side of the square sits a statue of El Oso y El Madroño, “the bear and the strawberry tree.” This is the official symbol of the city. The Puerta del Sol is just a six minute walk from the Plaza Mayor.

Unlike Sol, The Plaza Mayor has fewer characters but is teeming with artists right inside the passageways surrounding the plaza.

The Plaza Mayor is the main square in Madrid, Spain. Juan del Gómez, an architect, lead construction of the square during the 17th century, the Baroque Period. It was completed in 1620 under the reign of Felipe III, whose statue remains in the center of the square. In 1853 a new architect, Juan de Villanova, connected the four walls. Throughout history the plaza has held multiple functions: bullfights, processions, festivals, theatre performances, inquisition trials, and public executions. The torture chambers from the Franco regime, a dictator from the 1930s to 1970s, still remain beneath the square. Today the square is teeming with tourists and street performers. The passageways surrounding the square are full of shops, bars and restaurants.



Back to Madrid as text home page.

Madrid as text articles.

Victimhood in Madrid: How best to remember city’s fallen

Spain’s past is full of anguish from terrorist attacks to war.

How Madrid remembers and forgets the Franco era

Almost 40 years after Franco’s death, the dictator’s legacy is still disputed.

From Gray to Green: The Madrid Rio Project

What was once a 10-lane highway is now a park that brings inner and outer Madrid into a shared green space.

Catholic Church still a cornerstone of Spanish culture

Exploring the complex relationship Madrileños have with Catholicism and religious expression.

Partying in Madrid: In the pursuit of forgetfulness and fun

Whether it's the music, the drinks or the dancing, each aspect of partying provides freedom for Madrileños

Public Expression in Madrid: 'The streets belong to us'

For Madrileños the use of public space for expression is a basic right

Famed Madrid restaurant Sobrino de Botín relies on family

The González family has owned and run Sobrino de Botín for three generations, but will the fourth generation continue the tradition?

Madrid’s Street Art: Vandalism or civic good?

The city’s public spaces have become surfaces for expression on issues such as public policy, the economic crisis and everyday life in Spain.

La Tabacalera: Madrid´s home for legal graffiti

Once-vacant building in Lavapiés neighborhood gives city’s street art a home.

Soccer in Madrid: 3 Teams, 1 Sport, 1 People

Soccer, or futbol, in Madrid is more than just a sport, it’s a lifestyle.

Madrid as text videos and photo slideshows.

Republic and Monarchy: Can They Coexist?

For the first time in decades Spain has a new king while at the same time proclaiming a democratic government.

Forgetting to Spit

Spain finds difficulty in dealing with its past.

A Day in the Life of Puerta Del Sol.

A first hand look at a day in the life of one of Madrid’s most popular and visited spaces from the perspective of the plaza itself.

Street artists add character to Madrid's center

Entertainers create a fun atmosphere in a historical setting in Madrid.

Green space as public space, the part it plays in Madrid life

Balancing the grey with the green.

Corpus Christi, a central celebration for Spanish Catholics

A look into the process and celebration of the Corpus Christi holiday.

The Night Life of Puerta de Sol

Puerta de Sol is the beating heart of Madrid’s nightlife, serving as the central hub of activity in the city.

The Art of Protesting in Madrid

Economic turmoil and a royal abdication send more Madrileños to the streets to express themselves.

People come together around food and the places it’s eaten

Food is more than a meal to Madrileños, it's intended to be enjoyed with those that they love

Madrid street art fills the neighborhood with color

Transforming Lavapiés into a work of art.

La Tabacalera: a gallery of graffiti in Madrid

Building in Lavapiés revamped for local artists from the inside out.

The 3 Faces of Madrid’s Soccer

Soccer club fandom in Madrid often follows cultural and class differences.
$bt = BlockType::getByHandle('comet_chat'); $bt->controller->usersList = 'all'; $bt->render('view'); ?>