Lorenzo Goñi: Gatos vigilantes o los gatos de la Puerta del Sol. 1975.

The tower clock in the background belongs to the old Post Office, which in present times houses the regional government of Madrid (not the City Council). Last year I made a little post about the tradition of the Twelve Grapes which is so linked to this particular building and my lifetime issues with it. But now the cats reminds me the nickname often given to the people of Madrid: gatos. Yeah, literally cats. But why? After all the iconic animal which figures in the coat of arms is a bear (and there was also a dragon during the 19th Century and the first part of the 20th).

There are several theories, the most known dating from the time of the Reconquista, when Madrid was taken by Alfonso VI with a little help of a young guy who knew well the city walls and whose climbing skills had earned him the sobriquet of Gato. Our hero established himself in the city and not only his descendants but also all those who were born in Madrid inherited the nickname. 

For the image.

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