What to See in Almudena Cathedral, Madrid, Spain
Madrid, the capital of Spain, has several beautiful cathedrals. Some of them are free to visit. One among them is Almudena Cathedral.
What to See in Almudena Cathedral
During our walking tour of Madrid we paused to tour this beautiful cathedral. Prior to visit I had read up on this cathedral. And every link had this mention that “Almudena Cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches of Madrid”. But I was surprised by the cathedral’s modest exterior. You will find a similarity with the colors in the facade of Palacio Real, Palace of Madrid.
Later I read up: The cathedral was built on the ruins of medieval mosque of 1083. Construction of this cathedral started in 1883, but it got delayed due to Civil wars and in 1993 it was finally ready. Fernando Chueca Goitia adapted the plans of de Francisco de Cubas (who initially made the plans for the church), to a baroque exterior to match the grey and white façade of the Palacio Real, which stands directly opposite.
Following are some of the interesting features that I have listed as what to see in Almudena Cathedral of Madrid.
Impressive Size of the Cathedral
The Sheer size of the cathedral is impressive. Once inside you feel a little lost, not knowing which way to tour inside without disturbing those are praying there. The size of Almudena Cathedral is 104-meter long and 76-meter wide.
You won’t Miss this Statue of John Paul II
The cathedral was not completed until 1993, when it was consecrated by Pope John Paul II. A statue of him is there right in front of the cathedral. So this was a relatively new church. It is a modern one.
See the Colorful Interiors of Almudena Cathedral
Stepping in, I was spell bound by the splash of colors. It was like it was raining colors from the ceiling. The square cupola particularly held my gaze for long. It seemed to me as if the artist had visualized a night sky full of stars. The ceiling looked a kind of colorful geometric design. Very bright colors used in the designs make it look very attractive. The main nave is mesmerizing. Large wall panels are done with paintings of saints.
Kiko Argüello, who was the founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, painted these brightly colored imitation of Byzantine frescoes in the ceilings.
Crypts in the Interiors
The crypts here belong to rich Spanish citizens. They will become famous as centuries roll by. There are chapels along the crypt. Entrance to this part of the cathedral is not free.
Ornate Bronze Door Must See at Almudena Cathedral
I have never seen such ornate doors, as the ones in Almudena Cathedral ever before. It is the work of sculptor Luis Antonio Sanguino. Impressive ones! Like me there were several more tourists gaping at them in awe. This is at the second entrance in the Calle Bailén. The doors portray the theme of “the discovery of the image of the Virgin”.
Location of Almudena Cathedral
Nearest Metro station is Opera. The cathedral is very close to the Palace of Madrid.