Madrid is a city where architecture and art is a fundamental part of its history and culture, therefore, we will dedicate this month’s blog to the most beautiful churches in the capital, whose heritage, secrets and curiosities deserve the worth knowing.
If you like to discover churches and historical basilicas, then in Madrid you are in luck. Join us on this cultural trip, which you can not miss!
The church of San Jerónimo El Real
It is one of the most spectacular churches in Madrid both for its exterior appearance and the long history that it treasures within its walls.
Known as “Los Jerónimos”, it is located in the main entrance of the Prado Museum and dates back to the 15th century, considered one of the most important monasteries of the Spanish capital, right in the artistic heart of Madrid.
Kings, nobles, writers and all kinds of illustrious people have passed through this church.
It stands out for its Gothic style with Renaissance influences, which a few steps from the subway Metro Atocha, you can see it with your own eyes.
The temple was a frequent scene of funerals and weddings, the last of these being that of King Juan Carlos I.
By the way, it is one of the churches with the largest waiting list to get married in Spain. The postcard that results from contemplating the building from the north entrance of the Prado Museum is sensational, especially after the restoration experienced in recent years. If you pass by, you’ll want to take this picture.
This church has visiting hours according to the dates you are interested in going to contemplate this magnificent building.
From September to June you can visit the church of Los Jerónimos from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The months of July and August are from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The church of the Jerónimos is in the street Ruiz de Alarcón, with entrance also by Moreto Street nº4.
St. Michael’s Basilica
When you walk through Madrid de las Asturias, you will be surprised to find this example of Baroque, Italian taste, which is the Basilica of San Miguel. If you are a baroque lover, like us, this great church will fascinate you!
It was declared a National Artistic Historical Monument in 1984. The innovative proposal and full of surprises of its Italian architects, contrasts with the most common architecture of our baroque Madrid, much more sober.
Once inside the Basilica, you will be distracted by the shapes and paintings of the vaults and with the contemplation of a space that appears great spaciousness thanks to an architectural design designed for it. In the tour through the corridors we will find many reasons to stop and explore them. Without a doubt, it is a must when you are in Madrid.
This basilica is open from 9:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. In summer from July 1 to September 15, it opens from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and from 6 to 9:15 p.m.
The Basilica of San Miguel is on Calle San Justo nº4.
Crypt of Almudena
The crypt of the Almudena Cathedral is one of the most picturesque corners of Madrid and at the same time less frequented. If the cathedral of Almudena is a must for travelers who come to the capital, the Crypt goes unnoticed. And it is right below!
In fact, it has the same floor as the upper one, and the height is logically lower. This, added to the more than four hundred columns that support it, create a spectacular space. The crypt of the Cathedral can be visited just like the main temple. Additionally, the crypt is a fairly large pantheon. There are more than a thousand buried here. And still today it is possible to bury many more. Taking a walk through its corridors we find recent burials such as, for example, of Carmen Franco Polo, the daughter of Francisco Franco. And it is such an emblematic place, it was chosen in many occasions, for the burial of many members of the aristocracy and high society of Madrid.
Strolling in the interior highlights the sea of columns, after a while inside it looks like a labyrinth!
One of the jewels that can be found in the Almudena crypt is the painting of the Virgin of the Fleur de Lis. The crypt is of neo-romantic style, which is the style of the era in which it is said that the painting of the Virgin of the Almudena was found. Inside the main temple, on the other hand, presents a neo-Gothic style.
The crypt of the Almudena Cathedral can be visited every day of the week between 10:00 and 20:00. The entrance is free and free. Of course, a donation of one euro is requested to help with the maintenance and lighting of the temple. According to the entry, it does not receive any public subsidy. When you visit the crypt, remember also that you can visit the main temple of the cathedral, as well as the museum that is accessed by the square in front of the Royal Palace. From the museum you can go up to the dome, which offers a wide view of the city.
It bears some resemblance to a version of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. In short, the crypt of the Almudena is one of the most recommended and appetizing secrets of Madrid.
Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida
One of the corners that is not usual to visit in a tourist trip to Madrid, but awaiting a great work of art, is the royal chapel of St. Antony of La Florida. Its fame is due, above all, to the Goya frescoes that adorn its roofs. For that reason, the original hermitage of St. Antony is a museum and it is not destined to the cult. For the trades there is a twin hermitage at his side that apparently is identical to his sister. It was ordered to be built during the reign of Charles IV, by the architect Francisco de Fontana who completed the work in 1798.
As for its appearance, the exterior is not particularly striking, its neoclassical style resulted in an elegant building, without any remarkable element. However, it is precisely its interior that surprises visitors. A few meters from the hermitage is the Cemetery of San Antonio de la Florida, where 43 victims of the executions of May third in 1808 are buried.
When the construction of the hermitage was finished, Francisco de Goya began to paint the walls on top of the cornice. One of the works represented is the Adoration of the Trinity. But perhaps more admired is the painting of the Miracle of San Antonio, painted on the dome. Goya, not only is present in the hermitage for his paintings, but because in 1919 his body was moved to the temple and today we can see the grave with his name at the feet of the presbytery. Of the corpse, the skull is missing, supposedly lost in its first burial in Bordeaux. In front of the chapel, we can see the statue of Goya, one of several tributes to the artist in Madrid. On this occasion the painter, molded in bronze, is sitting on an Empire-style chair with a palette and brushes in his left hand.
The schedule to visit the hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida is from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. In summer during the week, it is usually closed for one hour between 1:45 and 2:45 and closes at 7:15 p.m.
Admission is free and it is forbidden to take photographs inside. It is possible to make guided tours from Monday to Friday in the morning.
Church of the Sacrament
In our walk along the Calle Mayor we find the Cathedral Church of the Armed Forces. It is also known as the Church of the Sacrament and is next to the Palace of the Dukes of Uceda. It does not seem a very remarkable construction on the outside, however, inside is impressive.
The restoration carried out since its construction, makes it one of the most beautiful baroque temples in Madrid. The expression “The Beauty is in the interior” here makes sense. It’s worth going in to see it
and spend a few minutes contemplating her fascinating interior.
You can see an ornate dome, the tall columns topped with complex capitals, the altarpieces, the height of their roofs. And, above this, the color of the light that enters the magnificent lantern and occupies all the space.
Once inside this church, you will see abundant and excellent frescoes that decorate the roofs of the church using the Italian style. Each painting shows a story, represents a scene, is a masterpiece!
Despite its great interest, it is not open to the public at any time like other temples. It usually opens in the afternoon from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. But it can also be accessed in the morning coinciding with the mass at 9:30 a.m.
Church of St. Antony of the germans
When you see its simple façade made of brick, you can not imagine what is inside, covered with paintings of incalculable value. It is known as the Sisixtine Chapel of Madrid, located in the Malasaña neighborhood a few steps from our hostel. This church enters into our ranking of the most beautiful churches in Madrid and even in Spain.
The church of St. Antony of the germans is a small building, with a peculiar ellipse shape that allows you to contemplate it with just looking up. I recommend that you sit in their banks, read the information they offer at the entrance and admire all its corners. It is a total immersion in the art and history of Madrid.
The church was built in 1624, which then it lacked with the elaborate interior decoration, which would be added forty years later. From the beginning it was destined, along with a hospital, to attend to poor Portuguese of Madrid, reason why initially it was called church of St. Antony of the Portuguese, later they served soldiers of the regiment of the king and later to poor Germans of passage by Madrid , changing his name to St. Antony of the Germans. Currently, it maintains a dinning room for the needy and destitute.
Absolutely, the entire interior is decorated with frescoes, from the walls to the ceiling and the dome, which creates a really cozy feeling. The figures seem to come alive and give the feeling of depth. Without any doubt, you have to visit this church, we are sure that it will take you to forget it.
The church of St. Antony is located at the intersection of the streets of Puebla and Corredera Baja of San Pablo nº16. The schedule to visit the temple is from Monday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Afternoons and Sundays are dedicated to worship. A donation of € 2 per person for charity purposes is requested.
Orthodox Church of the Magdalena
If you have ever walked by the number 48 of the Gran Via of Hortaleza you may have slowed down to see this peculiar building. And it is not for less, because it is a construction that completely breaks with the aesthetic of the area in which it is located. It opened its doors to parishioners and visitors in June 2013. Its opening brought back to the capital the representation of the Russian Orthodox Church, which disappeared shortly after the Second World War.
The cathedral, of Byzantine style, occupies more than 600 square meters and is the second temple dedicated to Russian Christianity in Spain. As you can see, it highlights its five golden domes, which represent Christ and the four evangelists, in addition to its clean and sober façade in white. You can discover the interior by going through the doors of Santa María Magdalena. Its temple does not have benches, so the parishioners remain standing during the almost two hours during the mass, it counts on enormous pendant lamps and barely has religious pictorial representations, although it highlights the image of San María Magdalena.
Are you not surprised to know all the history that our capital hides? If you have been wanting to know this place firsthand, you can get to know it in detail with the guided tours that are organized on Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. They can also go on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
You are coming to the end of this blog article this month. We hope that we have entertained you, taught you and, most of all, made you enthusiastic to come to Madrid and enjoy both the exterior and the interior of great works of art.
If you liked this blog post, about the most beautiful churches in Madrid, its architecture and decoration and especially the art, we also recommend you read one that we wrote about the most interesting museums in Madrid and their free access schedules:
Moreover, we have written a wonderful blog with information and suggestions on the most impressive buildings in Madrid. Check it out here:
Of course, if you are looking for a place to stay during your stay in Madrid, while visiting the most emblematic places of Madrid, we recommend that you read the blog about our hostel: Alicia at Mad4You Hostel:
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The Mad4You Hostel Team
The Mad4You Hostel team.