Puerta de Alcalá is likely the first masterpiece seen if you travel via public transport from Madrid Airport to the City Centre. This was the case for us when visiting – we noticed this gate on our way to the hotel, on the first day of our trip to Madrid. Puerta de Alcalá reminded us of the Brandenburger Gate in Berlin and the symmetry of this building immediately caught our eyes – such a perfect subject for a city photographer!
A city photographer
The gates were situated on the Calle de Alcalá, one of the oldest streets in the Spanish capital.
A Canãda Real, the Calle de Alcalá was once a route for livestock. Today, in almost complete oblivion to the important site they are passing, cars and other forms of modern transportation whizz around the Puerta de la Alcalá – where sheep and other herds of animals once passed through.
Accompanied by the backdrop of the modern-day city, the gate looked beautiful as the ornamental sculptures decorated with it seemed to dance atop. At the time of the construction of the gates in 1774, Madrid was a relatively nondescript city, so we can only imagine how much more awe-inspiring it would have appeared back then when it was designed. It was in Royal honor by Italian architects to ensure that the structure stood out amidst a city of poverty and modesty, to bring a sense of pride to locals.