Friday, February 28, 2014

SMCC 2014: San Marino Chamber Choir performs mass at Cathedral of La Almudena (Madrid): Sunday, March 30, at 7 pm.

The San Marino Chamber Choir, under the direction of Tammi Alderman, will be featured choir at the imposing  "La Almudena", as "madrileños" like to call the Cathedral of Madrid, on Sunday, March 30, at 7 pm.

The principle church of the Diocese of Madrid, the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena, is a relatively modern building, started in 1883 and not completed until 1993. 

The cathedral is consecrated to Santa Maria de la Almudena, a name which has Arabic origins: al mudayna, means "the castle". Legend has it that in the 8th century, when the Moors invaded the fortress where Madrid now stands, the people hid an image of the Virgin in the city walls, and only when the city was reconquered in the 15th century did a wall crumble to reveal her presence once again. Some versions suggest that the legendary el Cid found the image in the wall, and the Virgen helped him to retake the city.

The building is a mixture of styles with a neoclassical exterior, a gothic revival interior, and a neo-romanesque crypt. It is constructed of granite and marble, with a large neoclassical cupola and two towers at the main entrance. The Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena sits next to the Palacio Real, separated from it by a spacious square, the Plaza de la Armería.

Unusually for a church, it is not oriented east and west, but has its orientation north and south, as it was originally conceived as an integral part of the Royal Palace complex. A second entrance, in the Calle Bailén, has impressive bronze doors by the sculptor Sanguino, depicting the discovery of the image of the Virgin.

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