Not every madrilleno can tell which exactly street should be called the main one. The city has many long, wide and very beautiful avenues, but only one is called “Gran Via” which is translated as “large (main) road”. A lot of movies made in Madrid featured this great street.
The history of the street is very interesting. In 1920 the king Alfonso XIII took the symbolic rock out of the house which was verged to the San –Jose church and with it he started a construction of the unbelievably large artery – Gran Via.
The street was divided into three parts. The first part was decorated with traditional architecture: Neo Renaissance frontpieces, rambling balconies, large cornices and windows. One of the squares was formed out of several cross-roads. The main building was a pavilion in a shape of cathedral that had 3 elevators leading to the subway. The architecture of the second part was a mixture of French Renaissance and American Modern. The third was ended with a modern Madrid Square that captured the spirit of rationalism and respectability.
The first house was built in 1916. Till 1930 there were no many-stored ones in the city. The first was built in order to fill the great number of upcoming workers. The building had 14 floors but what is amazing is that it had 680 windows and 503 doors.
Today the “Large Street” is attracting people by various entertainments. Tourists are captured by the bright outlook of advertisements and delicious food of cafes and restaurants like "El Cordero Madrid" and “Chicote”. Madrid citizens got used to the fact that this street is the most luxurious in the capital. Almost every meter is filled with gift shops, theaters, antique shops and night clubs.
One more street that is worth mentioning is “Alcala Street” which is one of the main throughways of Madrid. The street is also one of the oldest in the city. It was constructed in XV century and developed with a change of epochs. Originally it was named the “Olive gardens” because it was crossing olive thickets. But, the queen Elizabeth I cut it and the name lost its actuality.
The Alcala street starts at the famous square “Puerta del Sol” which is one of the greatest examples of Madrid architecture and one of top 10 famous sights. It is a symbolic 0 km of all the roads and streets in Madrid. This street is the largest in the Spanish capital. Well-known places and monuments of Madrid like “Puerta del Sol’, “Independence square”, “Alcala’s Gates” and “Sibelis fountain” are situated here. Alcala’s Gates was the main entrance to the city and was built by King Philip III. The gate is the symbol of the city and stand meters away from the main entrance to the main entrance to one of the top parks of Madrid- “Parque Buen Retiro”.The street crosses “Ciudad Legal” and “San Blas” districts and ends at the A-20 motorway.
The streets in Madrid are very nice and not so much noisy. It is an absolute pleasure to walk them, especially at night, the city is covered with colorful lights and friendly people. Thousands of bars in Madrid and clubs are open till the morning so you can enjoy Madrid completely.