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Almudena Cathedral

Opening Hours
9:30 - 20:30
9:30 - 20:30
9:30 - 20:30
9:30 - 20:30
9:30 - 20:30
9:30 - 20:30
9:30 - 20:30
+34 915 422 200
+34 915 422 200
Phone number
Do not wait to book your activities
16 £
19.50 £
16 £
82.50 £

145 reviews of Almudena Cathedral

The perfect complement


Highly criticized and reviled, the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena (Saint Maria the Royal) is the perfect complement to the Palacio de Oriente (Royal Palace of Madrid). They are found right next door to each other. The final design included a series of arches on each side that would unite it with the Royal Palace with the Cathedral, creating a majestic, unified “Palace-Cathedral” structure, but this was never fully carried out, as the two buildings remain separate.

The true secret of the cathedral is found in its crypt, with the magnificent 19th century “neo-traditional” chapels decorated with stain glass, mosaics, altarpieces, etc., worthy of being considered obligatory sights in any tourist visit to the cathedral. We can list the Chapel of the Marquis of Urquijo or the medieval image of the Virgin de la Flor de lis as highlights, although I’d encourage you to visit the cathedral and find out what you like best about it.

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The difficult creation of the Cathedral

Believe it or not, Madrid did not have a cathedral officially until 1993 when the Almudena Cathedral was consecrated by Pope John Paul II. This temple has been jinxed since the beginning.

At the time of Felipe II, they already planned to build a cathedral for the villa and the court, but the monarch was more interested in finishing the construction of the Monastery of El Escorial, for which he discarded this project. At the same time, there was a power struggle in the Toledo archdiocese. They did not want Madrid to have its own archdiocese.

The building was postponed until the time of Felipe IV, who together with his wife Isabel de Borbón, gave a new push to finish the old project, even donating a piece of land for it. But new problems emerged and again everything was put aside and forgotten.

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Even better at night


I’m from Madrid and I’ve been going to the part of the Almudena Cathedral that overlooks the hill behind the Royal Palace. Each time I think the same thing: “blah, this isn’t anything special; not even really worth visiting.”

However, last week, everything changed. Due to the World Youth Day processions, I discovered a side of the Cathedral that I had never seen before. It’s the part that looks upon the Royal Palace (the most beautiful in all of Europe, of course).

A few days later, I decided to visit it more closely and, as my title states, it getters better at night, much, much better.

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