Alcalá Gate (Puerta de Alcalá)
The Puerta de Alcalá - or Alcalá Gate - stands in the center of the Plaza de la Independencia - Independence Square - and just outside of the Parque de Buen Retiro - Park of the Pleasant Retreat. This Neo-classical monument was commissioned by King Carlos III in the mid-18th century to replace the 16th century gate that served as the entrance to Madrid from what was then the eastern border.
Italian architect Francesco Sabatini was given the job and with help from two French and Spanish sculptors created what is now recognized as a symbol of Madrid. The Puerta de Alcalá is one of the city's most historic and beautiful landmarks.
The Alcalá Gate is bisected by Calle de Alcalá and is at the northwest corner of the expansive Parque de Buen Retiro. Other nearby points of interest include the Museo Arqueologico Nacional - National Archaeological Museum - and Biblioteca Nacional de España - Spanish National Library. It is accessible via the Retiro metro stop.