Spotlight on La Almudena

This is the first post in a new series intended to focus on Catholic churches around the world that are unique, especially interesting, or otherwise strike my fancy.

We begin the Spotlight series in Madrid.

This is the Catedral de Santa María La Real de La Almudena, the cathedral of Madrid. Locals call it la Almudena.

Despite Madrid’s long history, construction started in 1879, ceased during the Spanish Civil War, and was completed only in 1993. Its exterior is in the Baroque style…

 

Art and Liturgy - Almudena Cathedral Madrid Exterior
By Velvet (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
…but the interior is done in a neo-Gothic style. I was mesmerized by the murals on the ceilings, which are the best part of the whole place in my opinion. I really, really, really love these.  (Click to view larger.)

Art and Liturgy - Almudena Cathedral Apse Ceiling Painted
© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / , via Wikimedia Commons
Art and Liturgy - Cupola ceiling painted mural
© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / , via Wikimedia Commons
Art and Liturgy - Almudena Cathedral Madrid Ceiling
© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / , via Wikimedia Commons

Surrounding the sanctuary, there are some icons painted by Kiko Arguello. I love iconography, but this seems out of place. The same goes for the very modern/pop-art stained glass, which I don’t care for very much.

Art and Liturgy - Almudena Cathedral Madrid Stained Glass Windows Kiko Arguello
By Zarateman (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
On a side altar, there is a shrine to the Virgin of Almudena, the patroness of the cathedral and of Madrid. It was done by Granda Liturgical Arts 🙂

Art and Liturgy - Altar of the Virgin of Almudena - Madrid Cathedral
By Velvet (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Here are some more photos for your viewing enjoyment. What do you think of the Almudena?

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