Puerta de Toledo, MadridCategory: Madrid
Are you traveling to Madrid, Spain for some fun and relaxation and looking for some interesting places to see while you’re in town? If so, you may want to pay a visit to the Puerta de Toledo. To illustrate why this is such a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, below we have provided a brief overview of the Puerta de Toledo, including some facts regarding its location, history, architecture and significance.
Puerta de Toledo: Overview
The Puerta de Toledo, or in English, the Gate of Toledo, is a city gate situated at the Glorieta de la Puerta de Toledo, in the southwestern portion of Madrid, the largest and capital city of Spain. At its highest apex, the gate stands an impressive 19 meters in height and consists of three striking archways, with the center arch being the tallest. The center arch, which was constructed in a semi-circular pattern, was once the main gateway from Madrid towards the city of Toledo. It is flanked on both sides by a smaller square-patterned arch, both of which are adorned by beautiful ornamental columns.
Construction of the Puerta de Toledo commenced in 1812 during the reign of Joseph Bonaparte (Jose I), brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who had installed his brother into this position during the war of that time. Construction of the gate was halted once the Napoleonic government was deposed, but the project started anew under Bonaparte’s successor, Ferdinand VII. Many years later, in 1827, the gate was finally completed.
The Puerta de Toledo did not follow the original design created by Bonaparte and his people. Instead, Fernando VII commissioned architect Antonio Lopez Aguado to produce its design. Aguado opted to build the structure out of the relatively new materials of granite and columnar stone, and the finished product has many interesting characteristics. On its south side, for example, which faces Toledo, are several unique sculptures on the gate’s middle and tallest arch, representing the power of the Spanish monarchs during medieval times. These were created by the sculptors Roman Barber and Valeriano Silvatierra. On the north side of the Puerta de Toledo, again on the center arch, is Madrid’s city emblem held by two sculpted angels, while the two smaller arches display detailed representations of the various military victories of the era.
Puerta de Toledo is the most recently-built gate in all of Madrid, but interestingly, it is not the only Puerta de Toledo that ever stood in the city. The first one, which once stood very near what is now the Hospital de la Latina, was demolished in the 16th century.
Visitors to the Puerta de Toledo will revel in the beauty of the gate and the stunning columns and sculptures that adorn it. While in the area, they can also check out a number of other nearby Madrid sights and attractions, including the Atletico Madrid football (soccer) stadium, and El Rastro flea market, which is hosted in the area every Sunday and on Madrid’s public holidays.