Tio Pepe sign – Madrid, Spain - Gastro Obscura

Madrid, Spain

Tio Pepe sign

One of main spots in Puerta del Sol in Madrid is the illuminated billboard with the publicity of this wine, which has been here since 1935. 

Puerta del Sol is the very heart  of Madrid, where several symbols of the city are gathered here: “the bear and the arbutus”, King Charles III equestrian statue, the Kilometre Zero, The Clock of the twelve strikes, where the spaniards celebrate the arrival of the New Year;  Mariblanca statue,  and also, … Tio Pepe advertising.

This  billboard is, today,  one of the most characteristic icons in the  city of Madrid but  this advertisement came to this place with commercial intentions and it originally was only one among so many installed in Puerta del Sol and other buildings in the city centre.

Tio Pepe publicity has been set up in the semi-circular city square since 1931 and it was created by Luis Pérez Solero from Burgos. Its location, at first, was in at number 1 on the top of the old Paris Hotel but it was removed in 2011  because  its old location was acquired by a famous computers holding in order to set up its headquarter in Madrid.

The municipal ordinance against light pollution was close to ending the historical billboard  but by virtue of its sentimental connotations the mayor granted it the pardon along with some others such as the luminous of Schweppes in the Carrión Building of the Gran Vía. 

Finally, after a popular mobilization that gathered more than 50,000 signatures in favor of keeping the sign at the Puerta del Sol, the winery reached an agreement with the owner of another of the buildings in the square, which occupies the number 11, and in 2014 the advertisement was relocated. in this new location.

Since then there has been a controversy between those who defend the presence of the light of the winery, claiming that after so much time has become an icon of the city, and those who think that it is still a commercial advertisement and that attentive against the aesthetics of the square because it protrudes too much above the overall height of the buildings clashing with the environment.


Know Before You Go

The very heart of Madrid easy accesible by commuter train, tube (Sol station) and bus.