The Puerta del Sol (Spanish for "Sun Gate") is one of the most well known and busiest places in Madrid. This is the centre (Km 0) of the radial network of Spanish roads. The square also contains the famous clock whose bells mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a new year. The New Year's celebration has been broadcast live on TV since 31 December 1962.
The Puerta del Sol originated as one of the gates in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century. Outside the wall, medieval suburbs began to grow around the Christian Wall of the 12th century. The name of the gate came from the rising sun which decorated the entry, since the gate was oriented to the east.
Between the 17th and 19th centuries, the area was an important meeting place.
The House of the Post Office was built by French Architect Maquet between 1766 and 1768, and it was the building of the Ministry of Interior and State Security during the Francisco Franco dictatorship and it is currently the seat of the Presidency of the Madrid Community.