This is not Spain's most impressive cathedral, and it's something of a miracle that it exists at all. For centuries, Church and State could not agree on whether Madrid should have a cathedral; once they did, it took 110 years to complete it. In 1883 work began on a neo-Gothic design by the Marqués de Cubas, but this scheme went off course after only the crypt was completed. Another architect, Fernando Chueca Goitia, took over in 1944, and introduced a neo-classical style. It was finally finished in 1993 and visited by the Pope. The site once contained the church of Santa María de la Almudena, formerly the main mosque of Muslim Madrid (the name comes from the Arabic al mudin, 'the mill') until it was knocked down by liberal reformers in 1870. One of its more interesting pieces is the 13th-century polychromatic funerary chest of San Isidro.
|Venue name:||Catedral de la Almudena|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sun 9am-8.30pm; Jul and Aug 10am-9pm|
|Transport:||Ópera (M: L2)|
|Price:||Free. Voluntary €1 fee for maintenance is requested|