Almudena Cathedral

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Cathedral of Saint Mary the Royal of La Almudena
Catedral de Santa María La Real de La Almudena
Madrid May 2014-13a.jpg
The Almudena Cathedral viewed from north
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
Province Archdiocese of Madrid
Year consecrated June 15, 1993
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Active
Status Cathedral
Patron Virgin of Almudena
Website Website of the Cathedral
Architectural description
Architect(s) Marquis of Cubas
Fernando Chueca
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Neoclassical
Neo-Gothic
Neo-Romanesque
Groundbreaking April 4, 1883
Completed June 15, 1993
Specifications
Length 102 m
Width (nave) 12.5 m
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 but even though Spain built more than 40 cities in the new world during that century and plenty of Cathedrals, the cost of expanding and keeping the Empire came first and the construction of Madrid's cathedral was postponed. Making the cathedral the largest that the world had ever seen was then a priority, all other main Spanish cities had centuries old Cathedrals, Madrid also has old churches but the construction of Almudena only began in 1879.

Square cupola of the cathedral

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, 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 the future King Felipe VI to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano 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 Blessed Sacrament Chapel features mosaic from known artist Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik.

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.


References[edit]

  1. ^ ""El Madrid islámico"". Ite.educacion.es. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Almudena Cathedral at Wikimedia Commons