The Crypt of the Almudena Cathedral (Spanish: Cripta de la Catedral de la Almudena) is a beautiful Roman Catholic temple in Neo-Romanesque style, full of very ostentatious chapels and mausoleums that keep the remains of noble and great figures of the Kingdom of Spain. Built-in the 19th century, it is the oldest part of the Cathedral.
Four historical facts about the crypt:
- After the death of the Queen Mercedes of Orléans on June 26, 1878, King Alfonso XII, her widower, decided to build a temple for the Virgin Mary, also serving as a pantheon for the Queen, as a sign of love for his first wife.
- The crypt began to be built on April 4, 1883, the day on which its first stone was laid.
- On May 30, 1911, it was inaugurated as a parish church.
- In 1993, the crypt was consecrated by Pope John Paul II on his fourth trip to Spain.
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The Crypt Architecture
The crypt is a Neo-Romanesque temple with Byzantine influence and a Latin-cross plan, built according to the design of the Spanish architect Francisco de Cubas (1826–1899). It has the same floor dimensions (102 m/334 ft in length and 73m/239 ft in width) as the cathedral above. There are 9 chapels on the right side and 12 chapels on the left side; all of them are illuminated by stained glass windows, the best in Madrid.
The crypt features 558 columns, each crowned with a different capital with biblical and nature motifs. In its central nave, there are 50 huge columns of 3.28 m/ 10.76 ft high and a perimeter of 2.20 m/ 7.21 ft.
Located beneath the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, the crypt is considered to be the largest and most spectacular crypt not only in the city but also in all Spain.
Address: Calle Mayor 90, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Official website: Cripta de la Almudena