The Almudena Cathedral, situated next to the Royal Palace, took well over a 100 years to complete. It was finally consecrated by Pope John Paul on the 15th June, 1993. Five days before the consecration of the cathedral the statue of Our Lady of La Almudena, patron saint of Madrid, was moved from San Isidro church to here. The Almudena will be the place where the King’s son, Felipe, will get married this summer.
Carlos V was the first king to express an interest to construct a cathedral in Madrid, but it wasn’t until 4th of April 1883, when Alfonso XII laid the first stone, that work actually begun. Of the original plans drawn up by Francisco de Cubas, only the crypt was actually completed (1911). In 1920 the architect Juan Moya was put in charge of the project and he worked on the cathedral until the start of the civil war. In 1944 a competition was held and Fernando Chueca Goitia and Carlos Sidro won it – they chose a classical style which was more in keeping with the Royal Palace.
The Cathedral is very light in comparison to many Spanish cathedrals and much of the interior is very modern, including the modernist leaded light windows. You will find a nice mixture of old-style chapels which contain, among other things, bronze statues, bronze reliefs, the coffin of San Isidro and various statues. The Cathedral is 99 metres long and 75 metres wide and contains, 13 chapels, 3 altars and a huge dome of 20 metres diameter.
Address: c/ Bailén
Mass: Every day at 6pm and 10am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 6pm and 7pm on Sundays and holidays.
3 thoughts on “The Almudena Cathedral”
we are spanish and we live in madrid and the cathedral of la Almudena
is the most fea catedral we have seen in our lives.
I must admit that I have met quite a few people who are of the same opinion (including my Spanish brother-in-law!). I have seen many Spanish cathedrals, Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, Sevilla and Avila to name and quite like the fact that the Almudena is a very light building with a nice mix of contemporary and older styles. It is certainly not among my favourite Spanish cathedrals though.
The cathedral of almudena is probably one of the most unusual cathedrals I’ve ever been in – and I’ve visited a lot in my time including the Sagradia Familia in Barcelona. I’m not a great fan of the exterior of the catedral de Almudena but inside it’s got a light, spacious feel and the modern decoration works very well. It somehow manages to complement and contrast with the grand royal palace opposite.