Welcome to our guide of the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Malaga, also known as “La Manquita“. This magnificent architectural masterpiece is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city. In this article, we will explore the history, highlights, and useful information for visiting this impressive cathedral.
History and Architecture
The Cathedral of Málaga has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. Construction began in 1528 but was not completed until 1782, with one of the towers on the southern façade left unfinished, giving it its unique nickname “La Manquita” (The One-Armed Lady).
Do you know many cathedrals without one of their towers? Well, don’t hesitate to take a photo with this one in the background.
Origin of the Nickname “La Manquita”
Initially, the conquerors only made restorations while maintaining the same structure. However, numerous restructuring and remodeling works took place over more than 250 years. Around 1782, the construction was halted due to budget constraints, leaving the second tower of the Cathedral unfinished, and it has remained that way to this day, hence the nickname “La Manquita” (The One-Armed Lady).
“La Manquita” was built on the remains of an ancient Muslim mosque
During the reconquest, the cities of Al-Andalus were captured, and the Muslim religious sites were converted into Christian churches. The most famous example is the Mosque of Córdoba, where we find the Basilica of San Vicente Mártir.
The Catholic Monarchs ordered the construction of the Cathedral of Málaga just days after conquering the city. It was built within the limits of the now-vanished Arab wall, on the site where the Aljama Mosque or Grand Mosque once stood. Today, very few remains of the mosque are preserved, including some arches and the Patio de los Naranjos (Courtyard of the Orange Trees).
Architectural Style of the Cathedral
The architectural style of the cathedral combines Renaissance, Baroque, and Gothic influences, resulting in a grand and harmonious design. The interior features intricate details, high ceilings, and beautiful stained glass windows that create an impressive atmosphere.
Interior of Malaga Cathedral
Upon entering the Cathedral of Málaga, visitors are greeted by the impressive Nave, adorned with elegant columns and richly decorated chapels. One of the most notable features is the stunning choir stalls, meticulously carved in dark mahogany wood.
Another unmissable attraction is the Main Chapel, which houses the most precious artworks and religious relics of the cathedral. Make sure to admire the beautiful altarpiece and the ornate organ that adds grandeur to the space.
Highlighted pieces and artworks include the choir stalls and the Decapitation of Saint Paul, as well as chapels such as the Chapel of Saint Barbara, Chapel of the Incarnation, and the Chapel of the Virgin of the Rosary.
Curiosities of Malaga Cathedral
Malaga Cathedral is an impressive architectural masterpiece that holds several interesting curiosities:
- “La Manquita”: The cathedral is popularly known as “La Manquita” (The One-Armed Lady) because its southern tower remains unfinished, leaving it without a second tower. This peculiarity gives it a unique and distinctive appearance.
- Although it only has one tower, it is one of the tallest cathedrals in Andalusia, with the north tower reaching a height of 84 meters.
- The cathedral was built on the foundations of an ancient mosque, preserving some elements of this Islamic structure in its interior.
- Sacristy Chapel: Inside the cathedral, you can find the Sacristy Chapel, which houses a magnificent processional custody known as “The Chalice of the Cathedral”. This silversmithing work is one of the most remarkable pieces in the cathedral.
- The main facade of the cathedral, known as the “Door of the Chains,” is adorned with chains that symbolize the church’s liberation of Christian captives.
- The cathedral’s choir is a true artistic gem. Carved in mahogany wood, it features numerous ornamental details and sculptures depicting biblical scenes and saints.
- Roof access: Visitors have the opportunity to climb to the cathedral’s rooftop, where they can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city of Malaga and its surroundings.
- Malaga Cathedral stands out for its beautiful gardens and spacious courtyard, which is uncommon for cathedrals.
These are just some of the curiosities that make Malaga Cathedral a fascinating place to visit and explore.
Visiting the Cathedral of Malaga
If you plan to visit the Cathedral of Malaga, it’s important to know when the entrance is free and the opening hours. For all visitors, entrance to the cathedral is free from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 10:00 in the morning. This is a great opportunity to experience the beauty of the cathedral at no cost.
Outside of the free hours, there is an admission fee that contributes to the maintenance and preservation of this historical monument.
We recommend arriving early to avoid long queues and fully appreciate the tranquility and splendor of the cathedral. Guided tours are also available for those who wish to delve deeper into the history and architectural significance of this iconic site.
Plan Your Visit
The Cathedral of Malaga is located in the heart of the city, making it easily accessible for tourists. It is surrounded by charming streets, lively squares, and other attractions, providing a perfect opportunity to explore the rich cultural heritage of Malaga.
Remember to check the official website or contact the cathedral for the most up-to-date information on opening hours, guided tours, and possible temporary closures.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Cathedral of Malaga, “La Manquita,” and immerse yourself in its captivating beauty and historical significance. It is truly a must-visit destination for any traveler exploring the vibrant city of Malaga.
How to Get to the Cathedral of Malaga?
The Cathedral of Malaga is located in the heart of the city, making it easily accessible.
By Public Transport
You can reach the cathedral using public transport. Several bus lines have stops near the cathedral, so check the schedules and routes to plan your journey.
If you prefer to drive, keep in mind that the center of Málaga has narrow streets and limited parking. However, there are several public parking lots near the cathedral where you can leave your vehicle.
One of the best ways to reach the cathedral is by walking. If you are in the center of Málaga, simply follow the signs or use a map to guide yourself towards the cathedral, which is a prominent landmark in the city.
Enjoy the Surroundings
While heading to the cathedral, take the opportunity to enjoy the charm of Málaga’s historic center and explore the picturesque streets and nearby landmarks.
You can follow the directions on how to get there, here.
If you need more details on how to get to the cathedral, don’t hesitate to consult local transportation options or ask the locals, who will be happy to assist you.