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Cathedral of La Almudena
Across the square of the Palacio Real is the Almudena Cathedral. This was the church where Prince Felipe married Letizia in 2004, in a very big state wedding. Before that wedding, the church was closed for many years because the church construction was not finished. The church is dedicated to Madrid’s patron saint, Santa Maria de la Almudena. The church construction started in 1883 and the design was Neo Gothic. Construction went slowly and stopped completely during the Spanish Civil War. Construction continued in 1944 with a new architect who restyled the church as a neoclassic building, to go with the style of the nearby Palacio Real. The church was finished in 1993 and was consecrated by Pope John Paul II. The church has a lot of light and is one of the most beautiful churches in Spain, especially because of the modern designs of the big stained glass windows. There are also many side chapels with very modern sculptures and designs. Below the statue of the Virgin is a niche where the late King Alfonso XII and his wife Maria Mercedes de Orleans Borbon are buried.
The Crypt of the Cathedral de La Almudena
The crypt is a beautiful Neo-Romanesque church that was built in 1883 and finished in 1911 and the architect was the Marques de Cubas. The facade has a medieval look and three large doors. The central nave has 50 monolithic columns and the capitals of these columns have different designs. There are two other naves with a total of 365 columns. There are ten side chapels that belong to the most prominent Spanish families, many decorated with great art, with sculptures done by artists like Mariano Benlliure. There is a mural painting of Nuestra Señora de la Flor de Lys, and this is the most famous work of art in the church. The church also has the remains of Queen Maria de las Mercedes, the wife of Alfonso XII. She was denied burial in the Monastery of El Escorial in the pantheon of the Borbons because she was not the mother of a king.