Almudena Cathedral



Holy Cathedral Church of Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena is the episcopal see of the Archdiocese of Madrid, Spain.

It is a building of 102 meters in length and 69 in height, built during the XIX and XX in a mixture of different architectural styles: neoclassical exterior, neo-Gothic interior and neo-Romanesque crypt.

The temple is dedicated to the Virgin Mary in her title of Our Lady of Almudena, patron saint of Madrid and of the archdiocese.

The cathedral is located in the historic city center. The main facade is opposite the Royal Palace. Cruise facade facing the street Bailen, and access to the crypt is via the Cuesta de la Vega, at the end of Main Street. Unlike most Christian churches, east-west, the cathedral has a north-south, from his conception as an integral part of the entire Royal Palace. It is built of stone from Novelda (Alicante) and granite from the quarries in Colmenar Viejo (Madrid).

The origins of the cathedral of Almudena can be placed in the small church of Santa Maria de la Almudena, of late medieval origin, which was located a few meters from the present cathedral. For centuries there were attempts to give greater grandeur to the mentioned parish, attempts became more intense with the increasing importance of the empire and its capital.






Its main element is the dome, which is twofold; Gothic view from the inside, but the outside with Baroque reminiscences. Presents an octagonal drum in which four large thermal holes and a small flashlight as open shot. The cover is of dark slate. By way of pinnacles, twelve statues representing the apostles by the sculptor Luis Sanguino.


The main facade, to the Armory Square, is located at the foot of the temple, look toward the south side of the Royal Palace. It consists of a large double colonnaded portico, with the lower floor of Tuscan inspiration and the upper Ionic. This whole neo-classical was topped after the consecration of the Cathedral by a Baroque niche, sheltering an image of the Virgen de la Almudena.

On the balcony, a window of ten square meters representing the Virgin de Lis. And four statues representing the four evangelists, of the sculptor José Luis Parés.

There are two large shields, also executed by sculptor pairs. Located at the bottom, they are made of stone: they represent the full arms of the Spanish Royal House and shield the pope who consecrated the cathedral, John Paul II.

At the ends of the facade, in two niches, are bronze statues of San Pedro and San Pablo by Juan de Avalos; topping the niches, two reliefs, the Delivery of the Keys to St. Peter and the Conversion of St. Paul.

The doors are bronze. The center has ornaments with the Trinitarian issue; one of the side refers to the monarchy of Spain; the other is dedicated to Latin America. They are the work of sculptor Sanguino.

Of the two towers of the facade, to the right is known as «Mariana» or «Galician», as the bells were donated by Galician and each has a castiza Marian devotion: Santa María la Real Almudena; Santa Maria de la Paloma; Santa Maria de Atocha and Santa María de la Flor de Lis.


The cathedral has a Latin cross, composed of a nave and two aisles, three large cruise ships; head curve with ambulatory and five radiating chapels. Contrast outside the cathedral, eclectic style in which the baroque and neoclassical lines, with the interior, which follows the patterns of Gothic style, including clerestory windows and polychrome predominate.




Ópera Station (lines 2 and 5)


BUS LINE (Interactive MAP)
3, 148


Madrid – Sol



From Monday to Sunday from 9:00 til 20:30 hrs. uninterruptedly.


The entrance to the Cathedral is free. We ask you for a donation of 1€ per person in order to solve the building’s maintenance needs and also for the payment of the services required.


What to do...?

Shopping, Dining, typical bars ...