Why did the capital of one of history's greatest Christian empires not have its own cathedral until 1993? Spain built plenty of cathedrals in new cities all across the Americas, yet Madrid had to wait until the end of the twentieth century to get its own. The answer is that Toledo is nearby, and has always been the seat of the Spanish church, and so Madrid's was always seen as a nice thing to have, but not essential. But when finally it was built, they lavished upon it the richness a cathedral of a major capital deserves.
It might confuse some to realise the cathedral is so modern. It certain looks old, being built in the neoclassical style popular in the 18th and 19th century. Inside, hidden among the misleading revivalist Gothic and Romanesque interior there are a few hints of modernity, but for the most part you would never know.
the main Cathedral of Madrid is the so called Santa María la Real de La Almudena (Almudena Cathedral), the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid, while the Toledo Cathedral in nearby Toledo is the seat of the National Spanish Roman Catholic Church. This large cathedral is done in a mixed Gothic Revival , Romanesque Revival and Neoclassical architecture and was only started in 1870 and was only finished in1993 as was designated as Madrid's Cathedral as Madrid had no cathedral since after 1561 after the capital was moved from Toledo to Madrid of which the San Jerónimo el Real Church beside the Prado Museum served as the unofficial Cathedral. It lies beside the Royal Palace.
This Cathedral was made by architects Francisco de Cubas, Fernando Chueca Goitia, Giovanni Battista Sacchetti, Enrique María Repullés, Carlos Sidro on a site of the former Church of Santa Maria De Almudena which was Madrid's Patron's Saint. The Cathedral is about 104 meters long and 76 meters wide and has a single knave and many side chapels and a Dome of 20 meters in diameter. It also has a museum which has a separate entrance and has displays on the history of the church and the archdiocese of Madrid.
Phone: +34 915 42 22 00
9:00 am to 8:30 pm everyday
admission is free in the Cathedral
Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm
Closed on Sundays
tickets for the museum:
adults: 5 euros
children less than 12: 2.50 euros
In december 2011 I was lucky to meet the cardenal Rouco Varela and had a short conversation with him.
The Cathedral is not old; it was built during the XIX and XX centuries and consecrated in 1993 by the Pope Juan Pablo II during his visit to Madrid.
Madrid's Cathedral is right next to the Royal Palace. It is a wonderful building and it is possible to take an excellent photo of it from so many different parts of Madrid. Entry is by optional donation for the upkeep of the building. The suggested amount is one euro. Inside the church had some wonderful frescoes and beautiful stained glass windows. Despite the many visitors to the cathedral, the building was very peaceful inside. Some chapels had been set aside for silent prayer and taking photographs was not allowed in these areas, though it was fine in the rest of the building. Outside the cathedral was a statue of Pope John Paul the second commemorating his visit to Spain.
This famous cathedral of Madrid is located just next to Royal Palace. The two buildings have some harmony thanks to late construction of the cathedral. You can combine the visit to the cathedral as you visit Royal Palace.
A first project for a cathedral in Madrid was drawn in 1623, but the construction really started in 1883, and is still unfinished (cloister finished in 1955 and façade in 1960). The cathedral was officially inaugurated in 1993 by Pope John Paul II.
The Cathedral of La Almudena is located in a nice area and it has great views, specially during the summer where you can sit or stroll around and watch the amazing sunsets.
The style of this cathedral is mainly based in the Neo-Classical on the outside and of the Neo-Gothic on the inside. The exterior is marked by its sobriety which contrasted with the inside where there are notable sculpture such as "The Christ of the Good Death" by Juan de Mesa and several frescoes.
VT certainly is an educational experience for me when it comes to travelling! There I was, wandering around admiring the beauty of Almudena Cathedral, but I kept thinking that there was something different about it. Sure enough, I only found out later (while building these tips) that this cathedral is practically brand new - with construction only finally being completed in 1999!
It is a long story, starting with the fact that powerful religious leaders in the larger city of Toledo (which had its own cathedral) blocked King Philip II in 1561 when, after making Madrid the new capital of Spain, he requested permission to build a cathedral there. Fortunately, the delay only lasted 307 years until the authorities in Toledo finally granted permission (in 1868) to build a 'church' honouring Madrid's female patron saint, the Virgin Almudena.
Construction got underway in 1883 but, because Madrid became a diocese one year later, it was then elevated to the status of a cathedral. The expense of the endeavor, combined with the disruption of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s as well as World War II, dragged its construction out until it was finally completed only ten years ago. It may have taken a few centuries, but I was quite impressed by the final product!
We enjoyed its exterior murals as well as a short walk around its interior, taking in the architecture and several Christmas nativity scenes.
I am about as religious as my dog but I am really into Church architecture and music. Paintings and treasures I can take or leave. I had no intention of going to the Cathedral Museum until I realised that the ticket also gave access to the dome (cupula). The views from here over Madrid are breath-taking.
On your way out you pass through the Cathedral itself and the blend of traditional Baroque with very modern architecture is fascinating.
It´s Madrid´s cathedral which took more than 100 years to complete (it is finished in 1993). The cathedral is 104 m long and 76 m wide. The central dome has a diametar od 20 m. The interior of the Almudena Cathedral is more modern and much more modest than that of its larger counterpart in Toledo. The cathedral is near Royal Palace.
Construction on the Almudena Cathedral (or Cathedral de Santa Maria la Real de la Alumund) only began in 1879. even though the concept of building a new cathedral for Madrid was raised during the 16th century. The completion however did not end until 1993 when the church was consecrated by Pope John Paul II. The church is dedicated to the Virgin of Aludena.
The site where Almudena Cathedral is now standing, it was originally occupied by Madrid's first mosque. When Madrid became the capital city of Spain in the 16th century, King PhillipII wanted to build a grand church. His wishes did not come true till 1868. In 1883 construction of the new church based on Neo-Gothic design began and completed in 1993. The church was dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena.
Even though Almudena Cathedral historically and architecturally is not as famous as other Cathedral in Spain but it is the largest cathedral in Madrid.
Bus: 3, 39, or 148
Hours: Daily 10am-2pm and 5-9pm