Tag Archives: El Oso y El Madrono

El Oso y El Madroño (The Statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree)

Puerta del Sol, the premier plaza in the heart of the city, is filled with important and fascinating landmarks, and one of them is The Statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, or in Spanish, El Oso y el Madroño. People will find it easy to recognize because it is a main representatuon of Madrid‘s coat of arms. In other words, it is Madrid and even Spain’s most important symbol.

The statue is located in the eastern portion of the square, near Carretera de San Jeronimo and Calle Alcala, with the modern Apple building right accross it. Autobus EMT 51 is the perfect ride to take, as its last stop is a stone’s throw away from the monument.

The sculpture is not imposing in size, but nonetheless, it commands a strong presence in the square. El Oso y El Madroño is stately in its own right, and from it effuses a radiating, classic beauty that’s appreciated by everyone who sees it. This is why people are drawn to it at all times of the day, every visitor to the Rey Carlos III and his horse, standing proudly in the center of the plaza. Actually, the Bear and the Strawberry Tree is a heavy 22 tons — this is because it is built in bronze and stone. At 4 meters in height, it lords over everything else in the plaza while securely mounted upon a granite pedestal.

Tourists, local and from outside the country, are aware of the historic significance of the statue, which is why it is one of the most visited spots in Puerta del Sol.

Puerta del Sol lies within the Central District, where sights nd attractions are plentiful, and there must be a thick and endless movement of human (apart from vehicular) traffic going about in a dizzying pace. Aside from The Bear and Strawberry Tree, worth visiting are the Kilometro Cero marker, Palacio de Correos, Plaza Mayor, and Mercado de San Miguel, to name a few.

Location: 1 Puerta del Sol 28013 Madrid

How to go:

Auto Bus EMT: 50, 51, 3, N26, N16, M1

Metro train: Sol Station (Lines 1, 2, 3)

Map

The Bear and the Strawberry Tree – Symbol of Madrid

Position yourself on the sidewalk in front of the Ministry of Interior, the massive edifice with the clock tower, and you could hardly spot the statue from where it stands. Its height of 14 feet is not enough to be conspicuous from such a distance.

Still, you know that it’s there, its location being one of the most crowded in the whole area, an indication of its immense popularity.

Come closer, and behold, a bear nuzzles up a strawberry tree. The latter seems to be receptive of its amiable gesture. Such is an attractive sight, and an easy tourist draw of the plaza.

The Bear and the Strawberry Tree Statue, known among locals as “El Oso y El Madrono,” is a highly revered symbol of Spain’s capital, and one of the must-see attractions of Madrid.

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The popular figure is found in Madrid’s historical plaza, the Puerta del Sol. If you want to see it sans the large crowd, try to visit the plaza at around 1 or 2PM.

Go through Calle Alcala or Calle San Jeronimo (coming from Cibeles, Plaza de Independencia, and Sevilla), or exit the Vodafone Sol Metro station via the Alcala access gate, and you’ll immediately encounter the monument. As you go near it, certainly you can feel its imposing presence.

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The Bear and Strawberry tree statue provides cool shade on a sunny day, which is why people love to gather around and even sit beside it to rest, with their backs pressed against its stone base.

A handsome bronze-and-stone creation of prominent Spanish sculptor Antonio Navarro Santafe, it was inaugurated in 1967. Quickly enough, Madridenos embrace it as a prime representation of their beloved city.

Indeed, the monument is a top reason why everyone wants to visit Puerta del Sol. It has become a meeting place of sorts, with tourists making it a starting point of their tour of the plaza.

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Take an electric bike ride from any point in the city and park at Sol’s own bicycle station, located a few meters away from the statue.

A visit of Sol, of course, is not complete without a photo of the monument. However, it looks like all want to have their picture taken with the famous bear and tree, so one must be ready to wait for his turn.
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The statue glistens on a rainy night

Some want to immediately scour the plaza for its surrounding commercial establishments, which are a slew and all more than willing to cater to various whims.

Still, many others rare to see the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, and would rather visit it first. Effortlessly, it attracts people to its fold, especially those who want to experience its historical importance.

How to reach: Visit to the monument is easy, as a number of EMT buses start and end, or pass within or near the plaza itself such as 51, 5, and 150. If you are coming from Glorietta de Embajadores, Tirso de Molina, and Plaza de Cascorro, the EMT minibus M1 will take you to the plaza. A stone’s throw away is Metro Station, Vodafone Sol. Reach it after just a few minutes of leisure walking from Tribunal, Callao, and Gran Via.

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EMT Autobus 51 offers a convenient ride, with its final stop (ultima parada) located near the monument.