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Monday, October 29, 2012 (read 685 times)
Madrid Itinerary: Puerta de Toledo and Parque del Oesteby Lauren
The Puerta De Toledo is so called because it used to provide a walkway between Toledo and Madrid. It is one of the few remaining gates of Madrid and a leftover part of awall that surrounded the city that is now the ring road.It is made of granite and can be found on the Glorieta de la Puerta de Toledo. The gate is almost twenty meters high and it comprises one tall archway and two smaller gateways on either side. After a fifteen year delay due to a lack of funding, the present gate was finished in 1827. The original “Puerta de Toledo” had been demolished in the 16th century.
The tallest arch features sculptures along the top which are supposed to represent the power of the Spanish crown. Also, carved into the granite are two cherubs holding the crest of Madrid. To get to Puerta de Toledo you can take the Metro on line 5, getting off at Puerta de Toledo station. Alternatively, if you visit Madrid’s famous Rastro street market (dominated by antiques and crafts) or the football stadium to watch Atletico Madrid play, you will pass by the Puerta de Toledo.
The Gates in Madrid were built to mark the access points to the city of Madrid; arguably their purpose was more decorative than functional. Some of the gates we can see today such as Puerta de Alcalá, Puerta de Toledo, Puerta de San Vicente, Puerta de Hierrowere built to replace earlier versions, while others (such as Puerta de Santa María) were simply knocked down.
The Parque Del Oeste was built at the request of the Mayor of Madrid in 1906 who wanted a peaceful place to take an afternoon stroll. During the summer months, “Terrazas” spring up around this area so that people can eat, drink, dance, going out for tapas and socialize out of doors. In the middle of the park, there is a bandstand. Every Sunday throughout the summer months, The Banda Sinfónica De Madrid plays there free of charge. Also, when there is warm weather, it is possible to rent a paddle boat on The Retiro Pond and there are puppet shows and fortune tellers to be enjoyed by all. Located at the bottom of Parque Del Oeste, there is a Rose Garden. There are 500 varieties of rose that grow in the garden. There are separate flowerbeds for the new roses which take part in The International Rose Competition. Visitors can vote for their favorite rose.
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