Almudena Cathedral, Madrid A Cathedral for the Capital Soon after King Philips II made Madrid the capital of Spain in 1561, he wanted a cathedral for his new capital. Partly due to political turbulences and strong opposition by the powerful archdiocese of the then larger city Toledo, the construction was constantly postponed. Finally in 1868 a congregation devoted to Virgin Almudena, the female patron saint of Madrid, received the permission from the archdiocese in Toledo to construct a new church dedicated to the patron saint. Construction In 1883 construction finally starts and one year later, Madrid becomes a diocese thanks to Pope Leo XIII. This made it possible to build a cathedral instead of a church. Consequently, the project is updated to reflect the higher status of the building. The new design by Marqués de Cubas called for a neo gothic cathedral building with a ground plan in the form of a Latin cross. Construction progressed slowly and even came to a complete halt during the civil war in the 1930s. In 1944 the design of the cathedral comes under fire since its neo gothic style would contrast with the neo classical style of the future cathedral's famous neighbor, the Royal Palace. A commission chose a new design by architects Fernando Pope John-Paul IIChueca Goitia and Carlos Sidro. They proposed a design that included more classical elements.turkeyarena.com Consecration While works would continue until 1999, the Almudena cathedral was officially declared complete in 1993. That same year pope John-Paul II consecrated the new cathedral. A statue of the pope can be found in front of the cathedral. The Building The cathedral is 104m long and 76m wide. The central dome has a diameter of 20m. The interior of the Almudena Cathedral is more modern and much more modest than that of its larger counterpart in Toledo. The building, situated adjacent to the Royal Palace is nevertheless worth a visit, if only for its sheer size.