Rising high above Plaza de la Independencia is one of Madrid’s best recognizable monuments – Puerta de Alcala. The Neo-classical gate was commissioned in 1764, by King Carlos III; the work was executed by Italian architect Francisco Sabatini.
By the mid-18th century, Spain’s capital still preserved much of its rural appearance and the older gate, which stood nearby, looked neither royal nor even slightly appealing. Carlos III requested the court’s finest architects to propose a design for the new gate. Among them were Ventura Rodríguez and José de Hermosilla, eventually though, Sabatini’s plan was chosen.
The old gate was demolished and the construction of the new one began in 1769. It took eight years to complete the works but the result was worth the wait. More than 20 meters high, Puerta de Alcala features a Neo-Classical design, reminiscent of Roman triumphal arches and flaunts skillful ornaments and sculptures.
Over the years, Puerta de Alcala witnessed countless important events and welcomed kings ascending the throne. In 1985, famous Spanish duo, Ana Belén and Víctor Manuel, presented a song “La Puerta de Alcala”, which eventually became a huge success and popularized the monument further more.