Cathedral ‘La Manquita’ in Malaga
Calle Molina Lario 9
Hours: Monday to Friday: 9 am to 7 pm. Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm. Closed on Sundays.
Admission: € 6
It’s impossible to walk past Malaga’s mighty, imposing cathedral without admiring it. A striking characteristic is that it has only one tower. Due to a lack of funds, a second tower was never built and this gives the cathedral a particular, asymmetrical appearance. Because of this, the cathedral has been nicknamed ‘La Manquita’, which means ‘the one-armed woman’.
However, its official name is: ‘La Santa Iglesia Cathedral Basilica de la Encarnación’. After dark, the cathedral is floodlit and it’s a stunning sight.
The cathedral of Malaga
After the Christians had retaken Malaga, they began to build on the site where the Mosque had formerly stood. The cathedral took more than two and a half centuries (1528-1782) to build, which explains its different building styles. Both the exterior and interior were largely built in the Renaissance style, but you will also find Baroque and Gothic influences.
Three arches can be seen on the exterior. These beautiful entrance portals are lined with different coloured marble with medallions above the doors. The side doors bear depictions of the patrons of Malaga and biblical scenes. The cathedral has a small, green, courtyard garden and you will discover the beautifully landscaped Patio de los Naranjos if you walk around the outside.
There is a small shop to the right of the entrance which sells religious trinkets. The cathedral museum contains interesting religious gold and silver, liturgical garments and works by painters such as Ribera, Zurbarán and Morillo.
Once you enter the cathedral of Malaga, you’ll be struck by its size. The whole space, with its three 42 metre aisles has beautiful vaulted ceilings. The middle aisle is as high as the other two but visibly wider.
The marble pulpits and the 17th century choir stalls are remarkable. Forty-two sculptures in the choir stalls are carved from mahogany and cedar wood and are the work of the famous sculptor Pedro de Mena. The chancel also dates from the same era. The two Baroque organs date from 1871. A lot of effort was expended upon the chapels which contain important works of art. The side chapels contain images of the Pietà, Christ on the Cross and Mary of the Rosary.