Sol is the busiest station in Madrid, alongside Atocha, due to it being an intermodal station, since it has offered a regional trains service since 2009. The latest renovation did however encounter a few difficulties, since the works had to be interrupted due to the finding of archaeological remains.
Originally, with the earliest metro lines, it only had one service, Line 1, which in 1919 was the only one that went through the inside of the city. It wasn’t until 1924 that another metro line arrived, Line 2, and a further twelve years for a third one. Today, it still has not incorporated further metro lines and it has a regional trains that go to El Escorial, Alcobendas-San Sebastián de los Reyes and Colmenar Viejo.
These advances slowly contributed to create the modern and complete station that Sol is today, renamed for sponsorship and funding reasons to Vodafone Sol, and whose latest renovation culminated with the ‘whale’ or ‘hungry-hippo’ building. Designed by the architect Antonio Fernández Alba, at first it was the victim of criticisms and jokes, both by the conservative and modern voices. They ignored that, with time, it would be part of the landscape and that it would not be as shocking to the eye, just like the Eiffel Tower or the pyramid at the Louvre, or even the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, all of which sufferers from similar judgements after their construction.
Consulted for the different names that the locals, spontaneously, started to propose for this new way of access to the Metro, the architect told the press that he would just call it Puerta del Sol. He was therefore referring to that gate that sees 70,000 people walk past it every day and that it finally had an entrance since this central square, unlike the Puerta de Alcalá or the Puerta de Toledo, never had a single way of access. Perhaps because the most important squares, like the seas, are fed by different streets that, just like the rivers, populate its urban space with people.
Sol Metro station is the closest to our establishment. Hotel Victoria 4 is just 200 yards from this new Sol Metro and regional trains entrance.