El Oro y El Madrono (The Bear and the Strawberry Tree)
The heraldic symbol of Madrid
A major plaza in the city. It began as a market place in the Middle Ages. Measures 120 m by 90 m. Surrounded by wooden residential buildings with 237 balconies facing the square.
Unique way of separating vehicular traffic and pedestrians
Gates to the Palace
Very few buildings were unadorned by some sort of statuary or architectural structure.
Plaza de la Villa (Town Square)
Madrid's government began here with the first town hall (building on the right) built in 1694. The building at the back is a castle, Casa de Cisneros built in 1537.
Madrid's cathedral, built on the site of Madrid's first mosque. Relatively new at just over 100 years old.
Palace light standard
Another building top
Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun) Plaza
Exact centre of Spain. Km "0" marker - all distances measured from here.
Just out for a stroll
The side of the Cathedral facing the Royal Palace
No such thing as a "plain" building
We did not see any of the "box" structures such as we see everywhere. Not, at least, in the old section of the city.
The "0 Km" marker
Embedded in the pavement of the Puerta del Sol
A city official off to a formal function
In the Plaza de la Villa - still used as part of the city's government.
In a shop window
The Royal Palace
Still the official residence of the royal family but now only used for state ceremonies. Largest palace in Europe, Construction began in 1738 and was completed in 1764. Contains more than 2000 rooms.
Court house and law offices