Malaga Cathedral - History and Facts | History Hit

Malaga Cathedral

Malaga, Andalusia, Spain

Malaga Cathedral is a stunning example of Spanish ecclesiastical architecture.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Malaga Cathedral

Malaga Cathedral is a stunning example of Spanish ecclesiastical architecture blending Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. Begun in the 1530’s on the former site of an Almohad mosque, construction continued through to the 17th century. Yet, even today Malaga Cathedral is unfinished. Indeed the fact that it is lacking its south tower – amongst other elements – has given to it being known as ‘one armed’ or ‘La Manquita’.

Malaga Cathedral history

The history of the Cathedral is closely related to the Great Mosque on which it was built, located inside the Moorish walled enclosure. Its origin dates back to 1487, the year in which the city of Malaga was conquered by Castilian troops. It was then that the Aljama Mosque became a Cathedral, dressing as a Christian with late Gothic decorative elements and consecrating itself under the dedication of Santa María de la Encarnación.

The original project and the first traces, now non-existent, were the work of Diego de Siloé from Burgos, an author of recognized prestige who projected his architecture on a large number of monuments of the time such as the monastery of San Jerónimo de Granada, La Sacra Capilla del Salvador of Úbeda or the cathedrals of Granada and Guadix, among others.

In 1768 the cathedral temple was opened to worship as we know it today.

The Napoleonic invasion and subsequent confiscations prevented the works from continuing throughout the 19th century. In 1862, Queen Elizabeth II visited Malaga and once again promoted the idea of ​​completing the temple, a purpose that finally did not materialize.

The evolution of each of its construction phases results in this huge temple, with a complex structure and diverse range of styles, visible from anywhere in the city.

Malaga Cathedral today

A famous landmark not just in Malaga, but Andalucia and Spain in general, Malaga Cathedral has a museum displaying interesting works and details of its story.

The cathedral has a small museum is housed in the former Cathedral Chapter Room that displays religious art, paintings, sculpture and manuscripts.

Getting to Malaga Cathedral

The Malaga Cathedral is located in the city centre on Molina Lario street, facing the famous Plaza del Obispo, one of the most visited squares in Malaga and is visible from almost every part of the city.

As the historic centre of Malaga is almost entirely pedestrian. Therefore, if you’re getting to Malaga by bus or by train, you will most likely travel to the María Zambrano train station or the bus station located right behind it. From here, there are different bus lines to get to the city centre. The nearest stop is Paseo del Parque/ Plaza de la Marina.