Growth of Madrid: Puerta del Sol

My term paper focussed on the growth of Madrid throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I really enjoyed researching for my paper because I knew nothing about Madrid before this assignment, and now I have a greater knowledge of how Madrid came to be the city that it is today!

The information that was most intriguing to me, was from Carlos Sambricio`s piece “Arcades in Early Nineteenth-Century Madrid”, and his discussions on the Puerta del Sol. It was recorded as the best known and busiest place within Madrid, and the heart of the city. As the center of the city, it was used immensely for transportation, communication, and entertainment. When it was first created, medieval suburbs began to surround the Puerta del Sol and created it to be a central meeting place from then on. Within the Puerta del Sol there are a lot of famous buildings and landmarks. For example, mounted in the square is the statue of Charles III of Spain. Such monuments create a historical feel for the lively square and in 2011, the square had been established as a focal point and a symbol for ongoing Spanish democracy. Overall, I truly enjoyed digesting all of the information on Madrid that I researched, and thought that Sambricio`s piece, “Arcades in Early Nineteenth-Century Madrid” was the most effective in describing how influential the Puerta del Sol was as the center of Madrid.


2 thoughts on “Growth of Madrid: Puerta del Sol

  1. That is interesting to me as well, but i wonder how the square, which you say is now a symbol for Spanish democracy, would have been used by Franco, during his reign. Did you find any information on the square from this time period? I am personally not very knowledgable about Spain under Franco, or really any of Spain’s history. Due to his strong anti-communist values, it would be interesting to see how any imagery that he would have imposed would differ from those of the socialist cities.

  2. Its nice to see that you researched a country we did not really discuss in class because it provides a fresh approach and allows you to expand on the information taught in class.

    It’s interesting that the square has turned into a symbol of democracy in Madrid, which reflects upon all of Spain; however did you also research the functioning of the square in today’s concept? Has the square just turned into a tourist historical symbol or does it still function as the heart of the city for day to day functioning? Not sure if the timeline of your paper included such a broad scope, but the transformation during Franco’s reign as Darren states to the current functioning of Puerta Del Sol seems like a pretty interesting extension.

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