Madrid – Puerta de Toledo (Gate of Toledo)

Constructed between 1813 and 1827 is this gate, which was constructed to make Spanish independence from France. The inscription on the gate reads that Fernando VII, the father of the nation, has restored the country back to the people following the French usurpation. It was one of the last gates to be added to the city walls of Madrid, which at the time encircled the central part of the city.

It’s rather difficult to get to the gate as it’s in the middle of a traffic island, somewhat left adrift from everything. It was once a main gateway to the city through which people, horses and carriages would have entered, although it is no longer used for that purpose.

The gate was fully restored in 1995, although I thought that it was a slight shame that such a beautiful structure is now surrounded by cars. It also has a slightly more sinister past in that it was formerly the location for where locals would come to celebrate public executions.

Although it’s not easily visible to the human eye, and indeed, not at all possible for me to notice, there are some problems with the central arch subsiding slightly. This was caused when someone decided that it would be a marvellous idea to place a tunnel just below the structure.

Here’s what it used to look like, with the city walls visible on either side.