El sábado 27 de noviembre de 2010 hemos recorrido Sol con nuestros alumnos de Yes! la academia. Hemos conocido algunas curiosidades de la zona y hemos compartido historias y anécdotas. Finalizando el recorrido fuimos a una cafeteria a charlar un poco en inglés…bueno y algo (poquito espero!!) de español.

Os dejo aquí las fotos de la salida y un poco de los sitios que hemos visitado:

Puerta del sol

In the late 16th and 17th century, known as Spain’s Golden Age, literary luminaries such as Lope de Vega, Miguel de Cervantes, Quevedo, Tirso de Molina and Calderón de la Barca whiled away  hours talking and exchanging the day’s gossip on the steps of a former church called San Felipe el Real which stood on the site now occupied by the building partly housing McDonald’s.

 

Where is the Gate?

Where does the name Puerta del Sol come from, when there is no puerta and no sol?. First theory: in 1520 was a time of revolution, hunger  and discontent in and around Madrid, the nobles in Toledo, Segovia and Avila rebelled against the Flemish-born King Carlos V. Carlos had appointed his own Flemish leaders to key governmental positions instead of Spaniards, and was accused of squandering funds as well as merely using Spain to dominate Europe. The king didn’t care about the needs of the local people. The rebels became a dangerous threat to Madrid. That is why the city was fortified by a large wall to protect the royalists from attacks. It is said that one of its entrance gates was on the eastern side of the square, where the sun rises, and hence was called the Gate of the Sun.

El reloj que no podía dar la hora

In the early and mid 19th century the matter of knowing what time of the day or night it was tended to be limited to those affluent persons, other had to rely on public clocks. As far back as the 18th century had been a large clock on the façade  of a church located on the eastern side of the square. Problems with the clock arose from the very beginning. It was not accurate.  The church was torn down in 1854 and the clock was intended to be installed in the upper part of the façade of Gobernación on the Puerta del Sol but the problems to give the time correctly continued.

In 1862 a very famous clockmaker, Losada, was asked to make a new clock, he not only did that but also he donated it to the people of Madrid. It took three years to build the had-crafted timepiece in London. The clock work perfectly.

The bear and the madroño tree

Why a bear?. Most historians believe that it was chosen because bears were found in the abundance around Madrid at a time when the area was covered with forests. Its position has a meaning: Its hind legs solidly on the ground, symbolizing the Church’s dominion of the fields and its forward paws  poised on a tree in representation of the State’s claim to lumber and hunting.

In strict botanical terms it is not a tree, but rather a heath, it represents the conciliation between Church and State. But there is another story about the tree; in the early 1500 a devastating plague hit Madrid as Carlos V was visiting the city. The king became very ill with a malarial fever and it seemed that no remedy could be found. However, the townsfolks had discovered that by boiling the leaves of the madroño cured his fever.

 

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Daniela Lage2

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