Saturday, October 12, 2013

Opulent Cathedral

I recently visited Almudena Cathedral. A bit of background: though the cathedral was not finished until 1993, there were plans and talks of building one dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena as far back as the 16th Century when the capital of Spain was moved from Toledo to Madrid. The reason being is that there was no cathedral in Madrid and, as the capital, that simply would not do. The goal was to make the cathedral the largest ever. Construction was halted for a
very long time and resumed back in 1950.

All of the doors of the cathedral portray some religious content, whether it be images of Communion or images of Christ on the cross. Inside, the building is simply breathtaking in its beauty. The ceilings are colorful and there are altars for saints I had never heard of. There's an altar with God and Jesus sitting next to each other on thrones. There is a high altar that has a massive staircase leading up to it. All of this matches the image that the cathedral is supposed to display: holiness and magnificence.

However, the world of today has definitely intruded. There are places where you have to pay a Euro to 'light' a flame. That is, to turn on a mini lightbulb on a fake candle. They don't give back change. There are signs that say no tours during mass as well as signs that encourage visitors to leave a Euro a piece.

These don't really detract from the beauty, though. They are just things I remember.

Sadly, I'm not sure if I would go here to pray. There is just too much activity for my taste, but with the economy of Spain failing, I can see the need to optimize any opportunity that is found.

Also, as I have forgotten to do this on all of my posts, here are a few blogs I follow that are interested/dedicated to art :)

Enjoy :)

1 comment:

Earl Grey said...

Breanna, thank you for posting such an array of photos and links. Your post gives insight into a visitor's experience today - in a way that an art history book would not. Enjoyed reading this and look forward to Skyping with you soon!