Thursday, October 22, 2009

Catedral de la Almudena

The Almudena Cathedral, situated next to the Royal Palace, took well over a 100 years to complete. It was finally consecrated by Pope John Paul on the 15th June, 1993. Carlos V was the first king to express an interest to construct a cathedral in Madrid, but it wasn't until 4th of April 1883, when Alfonso XII laid the first stone, that work actually begun. Of the original plans drawn up by Francisco de Cubas, only the crypt was actually completed (1911). In 1920 the architect Juan Moya was put in charge of the project and he worked on the cathedral until the start of the civil war. In 1944 a competition was held and Fernando Chueca Goitia and Carlos Sidro won it - they chose a classical style which was more in keeping with the Royal Palace. The Cathedral is very light in comparison to many Spanish cathedrals and much of the interior is very modern, including the modernist leaded light windows. You will find a nice mixture of old-style chapels which contain, among other things, bronze statues, bronze reliefs, the coffin of San Isidro and various statues.