Tag Archives: Real Casa de Correos

Madrid’s Fascinating Buildings: Real Casa de Correos

imageReal Casa de Correos is considered as one of the most imposing and grandiose edifices in all of Madrid. It dwarfs all others within Puerta del Sol, one of the city’s most popular squares. Also the oldest building around, the Correos is a major landmark that easily attracts visitors in throngs and busloads from all over, it being located right in the midst of Spain’s most touristy area.

While countless impressive spots are nearby — such as Plaza Mayor, Gran Via, Palacio de CibelesPalacio Real, and Plaza de Oriente, Casa de Correos is a major attraction in its own right, one that you must definitely see if you’re touring Madrid.

Built when

The building was the masterful work of Jacques Marquet, who used the Neo-classical style, one of the common architectural designs during those times. Construction dates was from 1760 up to 1768.

Real Casa has always been a government building. It was said to have been a post office in the beginning, hence its Spanish name. Afterwards, it became home to the Ministry of the Interior. At present, it serves as the seat of the Presidency of Community of Madrid (sede de la presidencia dela Comunidad de Madrid).

Kilometer zero

The Kilometro Cero at sidewalk of Real Casa de Correos, Puerta del Sol, MadridAnother reason to visit the Real Casa is the Kilometro Cero. In front of the building’s entrance, embedded on the sidewalk is this historic metal-crafted plaque. This symbol indicates the point leading to the major places in Spain. Kilometer zero is also the starting point of the major streets of Spain. You always measure the distance from this point to any other place in the country. And indeed, you would notice people milling around it, taking photos of their feet as they step on the Kilometer Zero marker.

Christmas tradition

Its best feature is the central tower that bears a 19th Century turret clock, made by the popular Spanish watch creator Losada. The Casa’s tower has always been the central attention of revelers every New Year’s Eve. Everyone gathers at the square, milling in front of the Casa Real, each bearing 12 grapes. It is a tradition to eat a piece of grape for every peal of the bell, continuing until all 12 had been consumed. As the clock strikes 12, the New Year is met by an impressive fireworks display as well as a major revelry throughout the plaza and the whole of Spain. The striking of the clock during New Year’s Eve is televised all around Spain.

imageIt is a popular landmark, especially on December 31 of every year when all roads lead to Plaza del Sol, and the building and clock tower becomes the center of attraction as the countdown to the new year is celebrated.

Location of Real Casa de Correos:

Puerta del Sol 7
28013-Madrid

How to go:

imageMetro Station: Sol (nearest station), Opera, Sevilla (all three belong to Metro Line 2), Callao (at Plaza de Callao, Metro line 3)

 Autobus: Number 51 (from Plaza del Pero and Principe de Vergara), Linea 3 (passes thru Puerta del Sol via Bravo Murillo up to Puerta de Toledo, Bus no 150 (from Principe de Vergara and Santiago de Bernabeu), Line 5 (paradas located along Paseo de Castellana)

Mapa

Kilometro Cero at Puerta del sol

If you are traveling to Madrid, Spain, be sure to pass by Puerto del Sol – on your first day if possible – and head to that particular sidewalk in the plaza where the ground plaque or marker they call the Kilometro Cero is found. According to popular Spanish tales, anyone who steps on it is assured of a return to the city in the future.

And so that is exactly what I did as soon as arrived in the city (or rather, what my friends had me done on my first day). I flew into the Barajas airport in the afternoon, and after some much-needed rest, went straight to Puerto del Sol come nighttime by taking the Metro Linea 9 from Colombia station.

It was already 8:30 in the evening and dinnertime in the city, I thought the plaza would be less crowded. On the contrary, everywhere in Sol, including the area around the KM Cero were thick throngs of people.

I proceeded to the kilometro cero. A lot of tourists were abuzz and milling around the plaque, taking turns to have their pictures taken while they stepped on it. Across its surface was the line that read, “Origen de las Carretelas Radiales.” As I stepped on the plaque, I found myself making a wish. I swore immediately afterwards I had this reassuring feeling that it wouldn’t be my last visit to Madrid.

Where exactly is Kilometro Cero? In spite of being a ground-embedded marker, you won’t have any problem finding it. The plaza is found in the sidewalk right in front of the Casa de Correos, the gargantuan government edifice the width of which must be about the same as that of the plaza itself.

No doubt about it, Kilometro Cero of Plaza del Sol, that plaque that’s made out of granite, is one of the most popular and visited landmarks in Madrid.

Kilometro Cero, Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Spain What’s the Kilometro Cero? It is the spot from which the distance from Madrid to anywhere in Spain is measured, hence the name. So, if for instance, the distance from the Spanish capital to Toledo is a 200 km, such number is obtained using the KM Cero as the starting point. It is safe to say that if you standing on this point, you may brag that you have “conquered” the centremost point of the city.

Real Casa del Correos, Puerta del Sol, Madrid, SpainReal Casa de Correos is the massive Madrid government building in Puerto del Sol that towers over the Kilometro Cero (and perhaps everything else in the plaza, literally and figuratively). It is a popular landmark, especially on December 31 of every year when all roads lead to Plaza del Sol, and the building and clock tower becomes the center of attraction as the countdown to the new year is celebrated.