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Almudena Cathedral & Royal Palace

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Almudena Cathedral & Royal Palace - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT

Almudena Cathedral & Royal Palace.

Almudena Cathedral & Royal Palace - FURTHER INFORMATION

Almudena Cathedral & Royal Palace - Madrid visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Almudena Cathedral & Royal Palace' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Madrid.

The Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace) and Almudena Cathedral are two important tourist attractions in Madrid, attracting many visitors each year.

Almudena Cathedral

Fully known as 'Santa María la Real de La Almudena', this cathedral church is quite new, built between 1879 and 1993. Madrid became the capital of Spain in 1561, when Philip II moved the Royal Court here from Toledo. And yet, though plans were in place from the 16th century, Madrid remained without a cathedral, a very unusual state for a Catholic Country.

Almudena Cathedral was intended to be a Gothic Revival style cathedral, designed by Francisco de Cubas, the Marquis of Cubas. Construction was abandoned during the Spanish Civil war and then not started again until 1950 when Fernando Chueca Goitia altered the original plans and gave the cathedral a Baroque façade to match the grey and white façade of the Palacio Real, which stands directly opposite.

Almudena Cathedral was eventually completed and consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993. The marriage of Felipe, Prince of Asturias to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (Letizia, Princess of Asturias) took place at the cathedral in 2004.

Inside, the cathedral has a modern Neo-Gothic interior with various chapels and statues of contemporary artists. A Neo-Romanesque crypt houses a 16th century image of the Virgen de la Almudena, to whom the cathedral is dedicated. The paintings in the Apse are by Kiko Arguello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way. Nearby along the Calle Mayor excavations have unearthed remains of Moorish and medieval city walls.

Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid)

Another popular tourist attraction, the Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid) is the official residence of the King of Spain, but is only really used for State ceremonies, the Royal Family living in the Palacio de la Zarzuela instead. It is also known as the 'Palacio de Oriente' (Palace of the East).

In the 10th century a fortress, called mayrit, was built here as an outpost by Mohammed I, Emir of Córdoba, but was little used until Philip II moved his court to Madrid in 1561. The castle was then extended and enhanced becoming the Royal Alcázar. However, on 24 December 1734 a fire broke out in the palace which raged for four days, utterly reducing the entire palace to rubble and destroying many works of art in the process.

King Philip V ordered a new palace built to be built, resulting in the Palacio Real de Madrid visible today. Construction of the new Royal Palace took nearly 20 years, 1738 to 1755. It is a Berniniesque design by Filippo Juvarra and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo in cooperation with Ventura Rodríguez, Francesco Sabatini, and Martín Sarmiento. The new Royal Palace was used for the first time by Charles III of Spain in 1764.

Unless being used for official functions, the Royal Palace is open to the public who can tour various state rooms and gardens.


Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace)
C/Bailen Madrid -28013-
Phone: 91 547 53 50


Metro: Opera (L2, L5)

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