Located beneath the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, the Neo-Romanesque crypt is considered to be the largest and most spectacular crypt not only in the city but also in all Spain.
The Crypt of the Almudena Cathedral, or Cripta de la Catedral de la Almudena, is a Roman Catholic temple, 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.
Planning to travel to Madrid soon? In this article, you will find useful information about the largest crypt in Spain: from interesting facts to opening hours, and more.
Where is the Crypt of the Almudena Cathedral?
The crypt lies below the Almudena Cathedral. The entrance to the temple is located in the southern part of the building on Mayor Street, opposite the Arab Walls (Muralla Árabe).
Address: Calle Mayor 90, 28013 Madrid
Coordinates: 40°24’54.864”N, 3°42’51.192”W
Altitude: 622 m/ 0.38 mi
Region: Community of Madrid
Phone: + 34 915480930
Website: Cripta de la Almudena
Opening times & Admission prices
Monday to Sunday: 10.00–20.00
Mass Schedules: 11.00 (every day), 13.00 (Sundays and holidays), 18.30 (every day)
Admission is only a donation (suggested 1€).
Historical facts about the Crypt of the Almudena Cathedral
- 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.
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. 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, for me, 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.
Visiting the Crypt of the Almudena Cathedral
I found the crypt interesting, unique, and beautiful. It is very big but at the same time, it is like a lot of small places together. There were only a handful of other visitors so I had plenty of time to walk in peace and quiet. The crypt of the Almudena Cathedral is an elegant place with many tall columns, magnificent stained glass windows, and impressive chapels of important Spanish families. If my travels take me back to Madrid, I will definitely revisit the place.
I hope you enjoyed my guide to the Crypt of the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid! Please share it with your friends on your social media. Here are a few more informative and interesting articles that I recommend you read next:
- The Holy Spirit Church: The only Orthodox Baroque church in Lithuania
- Ljubljana Cathedral: The most beautiful Baroque church in Slovenia
- Saint Mary’s Basilica: The largest Brick Gothic church in Poland
- The 6 most beautiful churches in Venice
Have you been to Madrid? Have you visited this gorgeous crypt? Do you enjoy exploring old churches as much as I do? Feel free to post a comment below.