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La Almudena Cathedral - Cathedral Santa Maria, Madrid, Spain

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La Almudena Cathedral - Cathedral Santa Maria, Madrid, Spain - free coloring page

This is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid.  Pope John Paul II consecrated it in 1993.

Check out this interesting take on the Cathedral from well-traveled pair Chris and Connie from Off the Beaten Path.

Espana Day 1 : Wandering Madrid

Already it seems like long ago. Back in time, June 2018, we’ve touched down in Madrid, C&C, and our gracious hosts Chris’ sis Trina and her husband Grant (a huge shout out to both and big thanks) and we’re visiting Spain to take in the Camino de Santiago Trail. But before there’s time to explore. Our home base this day and for a couple more is the County’s Capitol and we’ll wander and take it all in, seeing as many amazing sights as we can in the time we have. Our first full day promises to be fun.

Much of the time we’ll spend at a most impressive Cathedral and the pics reflect that. But we’ll also discover other things. I’m mean we’re staying downtown, so let’s get out there and put feet to the pavement. And while we’ll only see a small slice of this great city, we’ll get a good feel for what it’s all about, that Madrid Vibe. And let me tell you, it’s amazing. Enough talk…come on, let’s get going! This is a big one, so be patient while it loads. 

España Day 1: Wandering Madrid – some pre-El Camino exploring. Presented by Chris Doering & Connie Biggart. (BIGDoer/Synd) 

1) Right after brekkie, still tasting that most delicious Iberico Ham (food of the Gods), we step out into the light. Which way? Pointing…that looks good. And we’re off.

2) In the Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, a monument to King Carlos III. Old Charles, as we call him, reigned over Spain in the latter half of the 1700s and seems to have been a popular Monarch (and not all were) and quite progressive in his policies. It was under his rule that Spain went from a grouping of kingdoms to nationhood. Tio Pepe is a sherry, which after seeing the sign we searched but did not find. Wines and things like that played a big part in this trip. Hey, when in Spain…

It has a short but tumultuous history. 

Madrid's cathedral, which stands in Hapsburg Madrid, has a short but tortuous history. The first plans for the church were drawn up in 1879 by Francisco de Cubas, who wanted to create a pantheon for the late Queen Maria de la Mercedes. The foundation stone was laid in 1883, but when Pope Leo XIII granted a bull in 1885 for the creation of the Madrid-Alcalá bishopric, the plans for the church were changed to become plans for a cathedral.

Cubas began a new project, more ambitious than the previous one, this time inspired by the French 18th century Gothic, adding elements from the cathedrals of Reims, Chartres, and León. The project, which was the first to include a large Romanesque crypt, served as the basis for the final construction. The Cathedral was conceived as a votive temple erected by the people, but the donations were insufficient and there were many delays in carrying out the work. In 1899, the Marquis of Cubas died and Miguel Olabarría, Enrique Maria Repullés, and Juan Moya were subsequently put in charge of the project.

The crypt was opened in 1911 but work was suspended during the Civil War and resumed with limited resources in 1939. After this, aesthetic criteria changed, and a Gothic cathedral was no longer considered suitable because of the contrast with its surroundings. In 1944, the Directorate General for Fine Arts announced a national contest to find a new architectural solution; Fernando Chueca Goitia and Carlos Sidro were the winners. In 1950 work was restarted, the cloister being finished in 1955 and the main façade in 1960. The cathedral was considered completed in 1993. On June 15th, 1993, it was consecrated by Pope John Paul II on his fourth trip to Spain.

It also has a museum that houses effigies of the city’s patron saints: the Virgin Mary of la Almudena and San Isidro Labrador, and has an exhibition of the life of the Church through the seven sacraments.

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