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Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá Spain
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Discover Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá

These two symbols of the city of Madrid, along with the bear, the strawberry tree and the Puerta del Sol, are monuments that really require a visit if you want to gain some understanding of the city, its history and its culture. The Puerta de Alcalá, located on the Plaza de la Independencia close to Retiro Park, is an impressive example of neo-classical art. It constitutes another symbol of the city with its distinctive five arcades, and can claim to have witnessed the main events that have marked Madrid's history since the 18th century. However, despite having been built in 1778, the current Puerta de Alcalá was actually erected over an ancient gate that existed already several centuries beforehand and from which it takes its name, as it was the gate to the road that led to Alcalá de Henares. The Puerta was not yet finished when work started on the construction of La Cibeles, another symbolic monument of Madrid. The La Cibeles fountain is equally representative of the city, located between the Paseo del Prado and the Paseo de Recoletos, on the square that bears the same name. The marble monument represents the god Cibeles, a classical symbol of fertility and agriculture, with the famous goddess standing in a cart drawn by two lions. She seems to have withstood the various types of damage that occurred throughout history and has become a unique symbol of the city and even today of the supporters of Real Madrid football club.

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Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá

Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá , Spain
The Palace of Communications

Located on the Plaza de Cibeles, the Palace of Communications is the main seat of Madrid's city hall.

© Purestock / Age Fotostock
Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá , Spain
The Palace of Communications at dusk

The architect of the building was heavily inspired by the Neo-Gothic style. You can also see the influence of Viollet-le-duc and Gustave Eiffel in it.

© Dannenmannface to fa / age fotostock
Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá , Spain
The statue of Cybele

There is a fountain representing the goddess Cybele in front of the Palace of Communications. A copy of this fountain exists in Mexico.

© Maria Galan / age fotostock
Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá , Spain
Puerta de Alcalá

Puerta de Alcalá was built between 1769 and 1777 on the initiative of Charles III, then King of Spain.

© Maria Galan / age fotostock
Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá , Spain
Puerta de Alcalá and Buen Retiro Park

The Puerta de Alcalá is located north of Buen Retiro Park. It is an ideal place for taking walks and relaxing outdoors.

© Maria Galan / age fotostock
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