La Puerta de Alcalá (Alcalá Gate) La Plaza de Independencia - Metro stop: Retiro
La Puerta de Alcalá
Photo: May 11, 1999

La Puerta de Alcalá is the oldest and grandest of the Madrid gates and leads to Alcalá de Henares, Cervantes' birthplace, a few miles to the east in back of us. The gate's center portal was for the royal party of Carlos III (Charles III) on opening day, 1778. The two side arched portals were for carriages and the two rectangular portals were for pedestrians. Today the gate is decorative only, standing in the middle of La Plaza de la Independencia (Independence Square), a traffic circle. This gate is one of the most beloved symbols of Madrid.

Except for this gate and the Puerta de Toledo, the remaining gates together with the wall were torn down in the middle of the 19th century although recently one, la Puerta de San Vicente, was reconstructed in its former location west of the Royal Palace (in the San Vicente Traffic Circle, of course!). This new, old gate and the Puerta de Toledo are both found in GREATER-MADRID.

I took this picture facing west right after coming out of the Retiro Metro station. To the left of the picture is the northwest corner of Retiro Park. To the right of the picture a scant half-block to the north on Serrano Street is my school =ELEMADRID=.

Go back to the OLD-MADRID page.