Almudena Cathedral | Madrid, Spain

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There are many attractions in Madrid worth seeing. You might only be in Madrid for three days but the recommended places to visit are the “Cathedral de la Almudena” and the “Royal Palace of Madrid.” When we visited the “Almudena Cathedral” (Santa María la Real de La Almudena), the weather was perfect – blue skies and only a few clouds passing over.

It was during the month of February that we visited but it was warm and sunny. Due to the weather and the fact that we were only visiting for 3 days, we decided to be spontaneous and didn’t plan any visits to see museums, churches, and palaces. We just wanted to walk around and find areas that we could take some interesting composition for photos.

 

Photographing Plaza de la Armaria and Almudena Cathedral without people

At the “Plaza de la Armaria”, between the “Royal Palace of Madrid” (Placio Real Madrid) and the “Almudena Cathedral”, we arrived early in the morning. Despite the early hour, there were already many tourists around. This wasn’t a perfect setting for great photography but we wouldn’t have been able to leave the area without any photographs of this popular Madrid attraction.

In order to capture the “Plaza de la Armenia” in the foreground of the “Santa María la Real de La Almudena” without people – we managed to shoot 25 photos. I was hoping to blend and then remove them later in the post-processing of all the people that were strolling around. Fortunately, this trick worked, and I have a photo of this place as I had imagined it to be – an empty area, showing the timeless majesty of this Catholic church.

 

The History and Design of Almudena Cathedral

The plans to build the cathedral in Madrid existed since the 16th century when the capital of Spain was moved from Toledo to Madrid. The plan was for the Cathedral to be the biggest Cathedral in the world. However, in those times, the expanding and the preservation of the empire of Spain was the main priority. This is why the construction of the Cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena, starting in 1879.

The early design was gothic revival style. The Spanish Civil War, however, destroyed the plans of completing the build of the “Almudena Cathedral” until 1950. In this time, it was decided to adjust the initial architectural plans to baroque the exterior, which would fit the look of Palacio Real. It took many years for the Cathedral to be completed – finally being complete in 1993 when Pope John Paul II visited Madrid and consecrated it.

The mix of styles of the “Almudena Cathedral” – the neo-gothic, baroque and even pop-art décor of interior really impressed me. From the beginning, I thought this site would have been built centuries ago but then my perception changed upon discovering the modern interior and realising that the Cathedral was completed just 14 years ago!

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