In the middle plaza called Plaza de la Independencia is located one of the most popular tourist attractions in Madrid: Puerta de Alcala - Alcala Gate.
In 1764 King Charles III, to pay the Italian architect Sabatini to build a large gate to replace the old baroque 16th century built by King Philip III. King believed that bears the mark of the eastern border town was too small for important link to Aragon.
Sabatini's project has provided a neoclassical granite gate with three large arches and two smaller rectangular passages. Each arcade is decorated with a lion's head, sculpted by Roberto Michel. Top of the gate is decorated with statues of Francisco Guttierrez. Gate construction lasted nine years and was completed in 1778. Gate quickly became a symbol of Madrid. Nowadays it is a major tourist attraction and is classified as a national monument.
In the 19th century Puerta de Alcala was moved to a location that is found today in the Plaza de la Independencia, near Buena Retiro Park - Central Park Madrid.
By Maria Morari
Others from The best places to visit in Madrid, Spain
Best places to visit in Madrid, Spain