Snapshots of Madrid - The Tio Pepe ‘Luminoso’
Dashing around a city as frenetic as Madrid it's hard for something or other not to catch your attention. The Spanish capital is full of so much light and energy I often find myself stopping to take a photo or two.
So I thought I'd share a few pictures as regularly as I can. I'll also include some well-known and not so well-known facts about the places I've snapped. There's always something new to learn about this amzing city...
Tio Pepe Neon Sign - Puerta de Sol
The unmistakable red and white figure of Tio Pepe, a guitar-toting sherry bottle dressed in an Andalucian-style jacket and sombrero has cast its neon glow across the Puerta del Sol square for three-quarters of a century.
The 24-metre-long sign that advertises the Gonzalez Byass brand of sherry is viewed with great affection by Madrilenos.
When renovation work was being carried out on 1 Puerta del Sol in 2011, the sign was removed and rumoured never to return again since the building’s new owners had no interest in keeping it.
On hearing this, the people of Madrid gathered a 50,000-strong petition to ensure the neon landmark’s safe return to the square.
Fortunately the iconic ‘Luminoso’ which dates back to 1936 was given an official pardon to remain part of Madrid’s urban landscape in perpetuity. After a three year absence the Tio continues to crown the Puerta del Sol, this time at number 11.
The sign now weighs 23,960 kilos, some 40 tonnes lighter than before it went on its break.