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Alcalá Gate: Neo-Classical Grandeur in Madrid

This former entrance gate to Madrid still exudes the splendor and grandeur of neo-classical times. I must have passed a thousand times underneath this magnificent monument, and it is worth every picture I have ever taken of it!

La Puerta de Alcalá is one of five former royal gates surrounding the wonderful city of Madrid, capital of Spain. Nearby this beautiful monument on the Plaza de la Independencia you can find the Cibeles fountain and Retiro Park.

In the late 18th century, the city was still surrounded by medieval walls, with only five points of access. The previous gate on this location dates back to the 16th century. Its function was to control access of travelers coming from France, Aragon and Catalonia. In 1774, Francesco Sabatini was instructed by King Charles III to construct this monumental gate in replacement of the old one.

Its neo-classical style possesses a monumental appearance resembling the ancient Roman triumph arches. The Alcalá Gate is considered to be the first triumphal arch built in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. It is a precursor to other much more famous examples such as the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. As of 1976, this great monument is considered a Historic-Artistic Monument.

Alcalá Gate is very iconic and can be seen in numerous illustrations of the city itself as well as of the entire country. Being such a representative monument it has often been the stage for all kinds of political and artistic manifestations.

In short, La Puerta de Alcalá is a gorgeous monument that you cannot miss out on. Let me finish with this lovely song by two great Spanish musicians. I hope you enjoy the song and the monument, as it is one of the greatest things in Madrid.

See you soon!

written by juansupergen and translated by sandravo

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The original version of this article is written in: Spanish. It is also available in: Nederlands & Italiano.