Alcalà de Henares and the Puerta de Madrid!!!

And here we go again, looking older posts to give them fresh lives updating and revising them, adding or substracting pictures, I have come to find many sights not given credit to even if have several posts. This is the case ,again, of Alcalà de Henares and its Puerta de Madrid! It is time I give it credit in my blog.

First, if you know Spain, and this Comunidad de Madrid region you will notice there is a Puerta de Alcalà in Madrid, and now you see the Puerta de Madrid in Alcalà de Henares! They are related assymmetrical gates!

A bit on the town to repeat for newer readers of my blog.  Alcalà de Henares is about 32 km from Madrid , however, from the last few years we have come always from Cuenca by car along the A40 then A3 and then the A2 direction Zaragoza and then Barcelona but you will find the panel for Alcalà de Henares off exit 28. We went straight to our favorite parking and newest in town as we did last year when we were here at the underground parking San Lucas off Via Complutense street.

The Puerta de Madrid was built in 1788,and located on Calle Andrés Saborit, near the urban center of the town, giving access from the traditional route that connects Alcalá with Madrid. The Puerta de Madrid belongs to the walled enclosure of Alcalá, the city of seven gates. Thus, Alcalá de Henares had the Burgos gate to the north (today within the Cistercian monastery of Las Bernardas and transferred to the current arch of San Bernardo); those of Madrid and Santa Ana or del Postigo to the west; the Puerta del Vado (in the current Plaza del Empecinado) to the south; and to the east, those of Fernán Falcón or Tenerías Viejas (at the end of Calle Santa Úrsula), Guadalajara (at the end of Calle Mayor), and the postigo de los Judíos on Calle Santiago.


The current Puerta de Madrid was officially inaugurated on December 4, 1788, to replace one of the medieval gates of the old walled enclosure, as it was narrow and elbow space , which made access to the city difficult. It was paid for by Cardinal Lorenzana (Archbishop of Toledo) reigning king Carlos III. The architect Antonio Juana Jordán directed the works.

The Puerta de Madrid was made of stone with a neoclassical pediment and label, presenting the appearance of a triumphal arch, the prevailing typology at the time. It is made up of three bodies, the central one being the highest, with a semicircular arch flanked by giant Doric pilasters, entablature and triangular pediment; and the sides, lower, with lintel openings. On the entrance arch it has two inscriptions; on the side of the city «A EXPENSAS DEL ARZOBISPO DE TOLEDO EL EXCMO. SEÑOR D. FRANCISCO ANTONIO LORENZANA» or something like at the expense of the archbishop of Toledo msgr Mr Francisco Antonio Lorenzana. And «REYNANDO CARLOS III. AÑO DE MDCCLXXXVIII» (1788). on the outside or something like reigning Carlos III, year of MDCCLXXXVIII . It is considered the last architectural work of the splendor of Alcalá de Henares.


The city of Madrid, in turn, has the Puerta de Alcalá (b.1778), in geographical correspondence with this Alcalà de Henares, puerta de Madrid, with which it is only ten years apart. It has been the scene of some movies. For example, the triumphal procession of the classic Spartacus runs under its arch, “romanized” for this purpose. Spartacus by Stanley Kubrick, 1956.

The space behind the Puerta de Madrid, once crossed, was formerly called Plaza de la Cebada. Today, it is called Plaza Puerta de Madrid, where the streets of Calle Cardenal Sandoval and Calle Rojas and Calle Cardenal Cisneros converge to the east, Calle Andrés Saborit street to the north and south and Avenida de Madrid to the west.


The Alcalà de Henares tourist office on the Puerta de Madrid

Hoping you stop by this wonderful architecturally and historical town of my Comunidad de Madrid in my dear Spain. Alcalà de Henares is grand in tourist circles and for good reason. Hope you enjoy the post!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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