After paying your patriotic fee of 10 Euro to enter the Royal Palace so you can mainly see a courtyard, gift shop, and stairwell with some baroque painting on the ceiling you will notice the Almudena Cathedral beyond the previously mentioned courtyards gates. While I was too late in the day to be graced with the inner divinities of this opulent structure I did in fact, get into its reticent crypt. You can find a panorama of its intial walkway inside in a post of mine two days ago.
This Church intially desired by King Philips II in 1561, didn’t not receive approval for building until 1868. Yes, obviously King Philips never saw his desires actuated but I am almost positive he would have been happy with the outcome.
You may have noticed I wrote church but this is obviously a cathedral. In 1883 construction for the church had finally began but one year later Madrid becomes a diocese thanks to Pope Leo XIII and a not so simple church was transformed into a cathedral.
Construction still staggering in its progress came to a halt in the 30’s during Spain’s civil war. Then in 1944 they had to stop construction altogether as the cathedral’s neo-gothic style clashed with its neighbor, the royal palace’s soon to be neo-classical design. Only 383 years in the making at this point anyhow. Consecrated by John-Paul II in 1993 the cathedral was finally considered complete after its redesign. Its crypt however still displays unearthed Moorish and medieval city walls.
Did I mention that this was built on the site of a medieval mosque that was destroyed in 1083? How foolish of me. 🙂
Stumbling around Madrid I came about this crypt down from the Royal Palace. I kept running into the Dropkick Murphy’s Financial Assistant who was on tour with them and finally exchanged cards as I decided to check out this exemplary architecture haven amidst the jamon and shoe shops surrounding its vicinity. This Neo-Romanesque Crypt bears the remains of many. They are on the floor, in the walls, and if you gander at the image, beneath the floor as well. You will notice two elongated rectangles which hold two bodies of Catholic descent. I can’t verify who is buried here but it is also 4am and jet lag seems to be grabbing me by the balls. One antiquity and/or relic this somewhat eerie chapel boasting organ music in a minor chord is the 16th century portrait of the Virgin of Almudena. I have an image of this as well if there is interest. This is one destination I recommend putting on your bucket list for Madrid. Entry being one Euro you can’t really even call it splurging into a Byzantine influenced abyss.
Entering the Austrian National Library is a jaw dropping moment in ones life. After buying my ticket, then having it scanned, then looking up I was drooling with delight. This place looks like something out of Harry Potter but its here and in front of me! I wasn’t allowed to use my tripod inside for this triple exposure 4 shot panorama but it obviously didn’t matter. What pushed me over the edge is that there was a Wagner exhibit as well. Some of his original music written by him was on display. The pages looked almost fresh they were preserved so well. I have a few different shots from in here that will be seeping into your feed eventually but I had to share this one as soon as I could!
Some of these book located in the Baroque surrounding of the Palais Mollard-Clary date back between 1349–1395. You can see feel and breath the history in here. I will be editing this post with more history soon as I have to run to the theater now but please view full frame and feel free to share! Prost!
Walking in Madrid last week we came upon this adorable gypsy couple serenading the world through their talented sonatas. As she sings I can only imagine her having thoughts of the csárdás with the slow and fast tempos that create the dance. This photo shows a vision of lifelong love and friendship. Through times both tough and easy they continue on, together.
See gallery at http://www.wicksakit.com/Dance/Gypsy-Caravan-2011/