Cathedral of the Almudena

Cathedral of Saint Mary the Royal of La Almudena
Basic information
Location Madrid  Spain
Geographic coordinates 40°24′56″N 3°42′52″W / 40.415586°N 3.714558°W / 40.415586; -3.714558Coordinates: 40°24′56″N 3°42′52″W / 40.415586°N 3.714558°W / 40.415586; -3.714558

Affiliation Roman Catholic
Rite Roman
Year consecrated June 15, 1993
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Archbishopric
Architect(s) Marquis of Cubas
Fernando Chueca
Architectural type Sacred architecture
Architectural style Neoclassical
Neogothic
Neoromanesque
Groundbreaking April 4, 1883
Completed June 15, 1993
Length 102m
Width (nave) 12.5m
Materials Granite of Colmenar Viejo and marble from Novelda

Santa María la Real de La Almudena is the Catholic cathedral in Madrid, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid. It was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993.

When the capital of Spain was transferred from Toledo to Madrid in 1561, the seat of the Church in Spain remained in Toledo and the new capital had no cathedral. Plans to build a cathedral in Madrid dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena were discussed as early as the 16th century. Making the cathedral the largest that the world had ever seen was then a priority. Construction only began in 1879.

The cathedral seems to have been built on the site of a medieval mosque that was destroyed in 1083 when Alfonso VI reconquered Madrid.[1]

Francisco de Cubas (es), the Marquis of Cubas, designed and directed the construction in a Gothic revival style. Construction ceased completely during the Spanish Civil War, and the project was abandoned until 1950, when Fernando Chueca Goitia (es) adapted the plans of de Cubas to a baroque exterior to match the grey and white façade of the Palacio Real, which stands directly opposite. The cathedral was not completed until 1993, when it was consecrated by Pope John Paul II. On May 22, 2004, the marriage of Felipe, Prince of Asturias to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (known thereafter as Letizia, Princess of Asturias) took place at the cathedral.

The Neo-Gothic interior is uniquely modern, with chapels and statues of contemporary artists, in heretogeneous styles, from historical revivals to "pop-art" decor.

The Neo-Romanesque crypt houses a 16th-century image of the Virgen de la Almudena. Nearby along the Calle Mayor excavations have unearthed remains of Moorish and medieval city walls.

On the April 28, 2004, Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid blessed the new paintings in the apse, painted by Kiko Arguello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way.

Gallery

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External links

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