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|Cathedral of Saint Mary the Royal of La Almudena|
Catedral de Santa María La Real de La Almudena
The Almudena Cathedral viewed from north
|Affiliation||Roman Catholic Church|
|Province||Archdiocese of Madrid|
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Active|
|Patron||Virgin of Almudena|
|Year consecrated||15 June 1993|
|Architect(s)||Marquis of Cubas|
|Style||Neoclassical, Neo-Gothic, Neo-Romanesque|
|Groundbreaking||April 4, 1883|
|Completed||June 15, 1993|
|Width (nave)||12.5 m|
|Materials||Granite of Colmenar Viejo and marble from Novelda|
|Website of the Cathedral|
Almudena Cathedral (Santa María la Real de La Almudena) is a Catholic church in Madrid, Spain. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid. The cathedral 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, plenty of cathedrals and fortresses, 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, and Madrid also has old churches, but the construction of Almudena only began in 1879.
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 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 Neo-Gothic interior is uniquely modern, with chapels and statues of contemporary artists, in heterogeneous styles, from historical revivals to "pop-art" decor. The Blessed Sacrament Chapel features mosaic from known artist Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik. The paintings in the apse were painted by Kiko Arguello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way.
Cathedral as seen from Royal Palace of Madrid
People buried at Almudena Cathedral include:
- Francisco de Cubas (1826–1899)
- Carmen Franco, 1st Duchess of Franco (1926–2017)
- Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú, 10th Marquis of Villaverde (1922–1998)
- Cardinal Ángel Suquía Goicoechea (1916–2006)
- Queen Mercedes of Orleans (1860–1878)
- Fernando Rielo Pardal (1923–2004)
- ""El Madrid islámico"". Ite.educacion.es. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
Media related to Almudena Cathedral at Wikimedia Commons