Puerta de Alcala, Madrid

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  • Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid, Spain.
    Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid, Spain.
    by planxty
  • Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid, Spain.
    Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid, Spain.
    by planxty
  • Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid, Spain.
    Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid, Spain.
    by planxty
  • planxty's Profile Photo

    A very fine monument (bring a long lens).

    by planxty Written Dec 17, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Puerta de Alcal��, Madrid, Spain.
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    I had spent a wonderful few hours in the excellent and recommended Parque del Buen Retiro (Retiro Park) where I had seen a few of the fascinating attractions there. These form the basis of other tips on this page. Deciding I was going to have to move along a bit due to the short hours of daylight on a late November day, I exited the Northwest gate of the the Park to be confronted by the wonderful structure you see in the images. It is the Puerta de Alcalá (Alcala Gate), so named because it is on the Calle Alcalá which is the old road to Alcalá de Henares.

    The gate was commissioned in 1774 by King Carlos III and eventually finished in 1778. It is to the design of Francesco Sabatini (1722 – 1797) who was actually Italian but had received patronage from the King when he was formerly the Duke of Parma and Tuscany. This royal connection led to him being given many Royal commissions and elevated him into the innermost circles of high society with numerous honorary ranks bestowed upon him. The King wanted to replace a much more modest gate which dated from 1599 and was not deemed by him to be grand enough for his Royal personage.

    Whilst researching this tip I discovered that there are supposed to be shrapnel marks on it from a cannon shell many years ago. Unfortunately I cannot confirm this and the reason gives rise to the title of this tip. Although there are arches which would obviously accommodate pedestrian and cart trafiic, the Puerta stands in the middle of what must be one of the busiest roundabouts in Madrid. There is no pedestrian access to it other than to take your life in your hands and I really wasn't in the mood to do that. If you want close up detail, I suggest you bring either a telephoto lens or perhaps a gyrocopter! Even at a distance, it is a wonderful thing to see and well worth pausing to admire.

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    Puerta de Alcala

    by GentleSpirit Written Aug 3, 2013
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    The Puerta de Alacala was one of the gates in the walls that gained entry to the city of Madrid. It was named this because it was the beginning of the road to Alcala de Henares. Located in the Plaza de la Independencia it is near the Fuente de Cibeles and the Parque Retiro.

    The Neo-Classical Puerta was commissioned by Carlos III, the Second Bourbon ruler of Spain. The Italian Francesco Sabatini was responsible for it and it may then not be such a surprise that his work ended up resembling the Roman triumphal arches. Constructed in 1778, this preceded the better known Triumphal arches in Europe, namely the Arc de Triumphe in Paris and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

    The sculptures on the gate are interesting in that they convey two rather different messages. On the west facade there are the typical warrior symbols. On the eastern facade are the representations of the four cardinal virtues( Strength, Justice, Temperance and Prudence). These were previously only represented by adult women, but on the Puerta de Alcala they are symbolized by Children.

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Puerta de Alcala

    by gwened Updated Feb 23, 2013
    coming up on O'Donnell to Puerta de Alcala
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    I lived nearby for four years,and now everytime in the city every year stop by. A wonderful monument to triomphant Charles III emperor holy roman empire Charles V.
    much written on it here by better writers, i can add description and history to it from a local history buff guy if you need it.

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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Alcalá

    by solopes Updated Aug 24, 2012
    Puerta de Alcal�� - Madrid

    Built in 1778 by king Carlos III as one of the entrances in town, this monumental door was designed by Sabatini.
    In 2001 Madrid was the World Book Capital, and that was the pretext to embellish the square, adding the gardens and lights that still may be seen.

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  • garridogal's Profile Photo

    The Quintessential View of Madrid

    by garridogal Written Nov 28, 2010

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    City view through arch
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    Is seen through the Puerta de Alacalá and down the hill towards the Metropolis building, Plaza de la Cibeles and the Gran Via. To catch this view is to realize that you're really in Madrid and that it really is a world class city.

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  • tzuki's Profile Photo

    Stands out for its beauty!

    by tzuki Written Aug 4, 2010

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    Puerta de Alcal��
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    By the time of King Charles III, he did numerous works in the city of Madrid, however, one of the best known is the Puerta (Gate) de Alcalá a symbol in stone than Francesco Sabatini commissioned to design and build.
    All the visitors reaching Madrid passed through this structure formed by three archers and two rectangular gateways.
    Nowadays, it has no other function than to mark the end of Calle Alcalá.
    In the Neoclassical style stands out for the beauty of its proportions :)
    There are always flowers decorations around it different from each season and by sunset time is a good place to photo because the beauty of skies over Madrid!

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  • ruki's Profile Photo

    Puerta de Alcala

    by ruki Written Oct 21, 2009

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    Puerta de Alcala is located at Plaza de la Independencia in Madrid in the entrance in Retiro Park. It is neoclassical granite gate with three large archways and two smaller rectangular passageways. Each of the archways is decorated with a lions head, sculpted by Roberto Michel. Construction of the gate took 9 years it was finally completed in 1778.

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  • barbskie's Profile Photo

    The Alcala Gate

    by barbskie Updated Feb 13, 2009

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    Madrid's national monument and one of the city's symbol. It is design by an Italian artist, Sabatini, ordered by King Carlos III in 1764. It is a neoclassical granite gate with five passage, three large archways and the other two rectangular are smaller. Each of the passageways is decorated with a lions head sculptured by Roberto Michel. The top of the gate is decorated with statues by Francisco Guttierez. The construction was completed after nine years.

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  • cinthya_in_victoria's Profile Photo

    Puerta de Alcala

    by cinthya_in_victoria Written Dec 31, 2008

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    Y ah�� est�� viendo pasar el tiempo...
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    This is a monument in the Plaza de la Independencia, very close to Cibeles. It was built by order of king Carlos III as a monumental gate in the city wall to pass the road which leads to the city of Alcalá. It was inaugurated in 1778.

    Take a moment to see it during the day and at night, I personally liked it better at night.
    Puerta de Alcala was named from the old path from Madrid to the town of Alcalá de Henares.
    Another symbol of Madrid.

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Carlos wanted it bigger...

    by mindcrime Written Sep 17, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    puerta de Alcala

    This beautiful gate situated at plaza de Independencia is even more beautiful at night but its location next to one of the Retiro’s entrances will bring you here during the day too. It was the monumental gate on the road to the historical city Alcala de Henares. There was another smaller gate there that was built in 1599 but king Carlos III ordered a big one that was built on 1769 by the Italian architect Sabatini.

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    One of Madrid's most beautiful monuments

    by Jefie Written May 17, 2008

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    Puerta de Alcala at night
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    It is called the "Puerta de Alcala" because it used to sit on the road that led to Alcala de Henares, a small historic town located about 30 km east of Madrid. It was built in the 1770s, after King Carlos III took a dislike to the old gate that dated back to 1599. It was designed by Francesco Sabatini in a neo-classical style, and it became the major point of entry to the city of Madrid. The area around the Puerta de Alcala has been remodelled over the years, and it now sits at the middle of the "Plaza de la Independicia", near the main entry to the Parque del Buen Retiro. It's worth seeing it during the day and going back at night when it's all lit up - it's one of Madrid's most photogenic monuments!

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  • Urzu's Profile Photo

    One of the entrances to the Villa of Madrid

    by Urzu Written Jan 12, 2008

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    Puerta de Alcala

    This is one of the main symbols of Madrid. It's situated in the Plaza de la Independencia, very close to the Cibeles fountain and right next to the Retiro Park. This port was at one time one of the entrances to the "Villa" of Madrid. Charles III had to it reconstructed to what its actual appearance in the 18th century, since he didn't like the previous port, and since then it because a symbol to the Villa that still remains today.

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  • lina112's Profile Photo

    Mirala, mirala, mirala.........

    by lina112 Written Dec 13, 2007

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    Is one of the most popular monuments in Madrid. King Charles III ordered built it in 1778 and the architect who designed it was Sabatini. It has 5 archs.

    Es uno de los monumentos más famosos y representativos en Madrid. Fue mandada construir en 1778 por Carlos III y el arquitecto elegido fue Sabatini. Se compone de cinco arcos.

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  • gypsysoul73's Profile Photo

    Puerta de Alacala

    by gypsysoul73 Written Oct 15, 2007
    Puerta de Alcala

    Its name originates from the old path from Madrid to the nearby town of Alcalá de Henares. It was built by order of king Carlos III as a monumental gate in the city wall to pass the road which leads to the city of Alcalá, replacing an older, smaller, gate which stood nearby.

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  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo

    Puerta de Alcalá (Alcalá Gate)

    by marielexoteria Written Oct 9, 2007

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    La Puerta de Alcal��
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    Now let's walk away from Paseo del Prado and Cibeles Square and we'll find the Alcalá Gate. This gate was constructed under the kingdom of Carlos III because he wanted a monumental gate on the road from Madrid to the nearby city Alcalá de Henares and replaces an old brick made and more humble gate. The design was by Francesco Sabatini and it was inaugurated in 1778. The gate has some statues on top, representing 4 cardinal virtues: Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude.

    One curious piece of information about this Gate: Spanish singers Víctor Manuel and Ana Belén recorded a song called "La Puerta de Alcalá" in 1986, composed by Bernardo Fuster and Luis Mendo. This song became a popular hit.

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