The literal heart of Madrid, La Puerta del Sol ("The Gate of the Sun") is the central square of Madrid where all the nation's roads begin their mileage count. The origins of Puerta del Sol go back to the 15th century, and it has undergone numerous transformations over its long existence. The famous "Zero kilometer" is found at the entrance to Casa de Correos, an emblematic building constructed in the 18th century by Jaime MГЎrquez. The 19th century facade clock and bells strike away each hour.
Next to Casa de Correos stands the statue of a bear and a madrono tree, the heraldic symbols of Madrid. This is the usual meeting point for madrileГ±os, so there is always a crowd of waiting people, as well as tourists, around it. Another statue of note on Puerta del Sol is an equestrian statue of Carlos III.
Puerta del Sol is the starting point for most visitors of Madrid, so the square is always busy and full of cafГ©s, restaurants, souvenir shops and tourist information points.