The Cathedral Basilica of Minorca is a church in Ciutadella de Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. It was constructed on the orders of King Alfonso III of Aragon, the conqueror of the island in 1287 on the site of an old mosque.
Construction started in 1300 and was finished in 1362, creating a building of the "ogival art" style in its best period that is notable for the width of the nave, flanked by 6 chapels to each side. The five sided apse is orientated to the east.
In 1795, with the restoration of the old bishopric of Minorca (that had existed at the start of the 5th century) the parish church of ciutadella came to be the cathedral of the new diocese.
Under Bishop Juano, the main facade was constructed in 1813 in a neo-classic style contrasting with the gothic style of the building, while the restored side door called "la luz" (the light) keeps some of its medieval ornamentation.
In the interior, the baroque chapel of the Angelus dates from the start of the 17th century with exquisitely carved columns.
The cathedral was sacked and desecrated in the first days of the Spanish civil war in 1936 but was restored in its current form by the Bishop, Don Bartolome Pascual between 1939 and 1941. During this work, the choir was moved from the nave to its current location in the apse.
Inside the cathedral
The great altar is a marble monolith covered by a 15 metre high canopy. In the depth of the apse, under the image of the incumbent - the virgin in the mystery of the presentation of Jesus in the temple - is found the episcopal seat with a roman marble blessed by Pope Pius XII to signify the links of faith and devotion of this church of Minorca to St Peter's Church. In 1953 Pope Pius XII gave the cathedral the title of basilica.
From 1987, the 7th centenary of the conquest of Minorca by the Spanish, a new plan was undertaken for the restoration and development of the cathedral.
- Phil Lee The Rough Guide to Menorca 2004 p66 "The king had a political point to make too - he built his cathedral, a gigantic affair of golden sandstone, bang on top of the Great Mosque inside the Almudaina, the old Moorish citadel. The Reconquista was to be no temporary matter."