Ciutadella de Menorca Cathedral

Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain

The Cathedral Basilica of Ciutadella de Menorca was constructed on the orders of King Alfonso III of Aragon, the conqueror of the island, in 1287 on the site of an old mosque.

Construction started in 1300 and was finished in 1362, creating a building of the Catalan Gothic style, and is notable for the width of the nave, flanked by six chapels to each side. The five-sided apse is oriented to the east.

After the desecration and devastation of the cathedral by the Ottoman Empire Turks under Admiral of the Ottoman Fleet Pialí Bajá in 1558 and the collapse of the vaults of the apse in 1626, the damage was quickly repaired in the original style.

In 1795, with the restoration of the old bishopric of Menorca (which had existed at start of the 5th century) the parish church of Ciutadella came to be the cathedral of the new diocese.

Under Bishop Juano, the main façade was rebuilt in 1813 in a neoclassical style, contrasting with the Gothic style of the building, while the restored side door called the Porta de la Llum ('Portal of the Light') keeps some of its medieval ornamentation.

In the interior, the baroque chapel of the Angelus dates from the start of the 17th century with exquisitely-carved columns.

The cathedral was sacked and desecrated in the first days of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, but was restored in its current form by Bishop Bartolomé Pascual between 1939 and 1941. During this work, the Quire was moved from the nave to its current location in the apse.

The great altar is a marble monolith covered by a 15-metre-high canopy. At the back of the apse, under an image of the Virgin in the mystery of the presentation of Jesus in the temple, is found the episcopal throne, made with Roman marble blessed by Pope Pius XII to signify the links of faith and devotion of this church of Menorca to St. Peter's Basilica. In 1953 Pope Pius XII gave the cathedral the title of minor basilica.

From 1987, the seventh centennial of the conquest of Menorca by the Crown of Aragon, a new plan was undertaken for the restoration and development of the cathedral.


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Founded: 1300-1362
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jordan Heeney (2 months ago)
Stunning place with some beautiful architecture. The monastery is a must see. Some nice bars, cafes and restaurants. Lovely place for a Sangria on the marina and plenty of shops and bakery’s local. Just a short bud ride from Cala n’ Bosch or plenty of parking available in the area.
David Currie (5 months ago)
Wonderful Cathedral - a haven of peace in the midst of the city Iconic building within the old historic centre of Ciutadella. Catedral de Santa María de Ciudadela is beautiful inside and out. It is well worth buying a ticket for here and the nearby Convent De Sant Agustí de Ciutadella as well as visiting the Bishop's Garden two doors down from the Cathedral. At 7 Euros this represents great value for money and you can return usuing the ticket throughout your stay. We also opted to attend for noon mass on the Sunday morning which allowed us to join with the locals in a worship service at which two children were celebrating their first communion.
J Lloyd (5 months ago)
7€ entry but you also get entry to the convent across the street’s stunning must go.
Donna Tasker (7 months ago)
We just love the old capital! We visited in May and it was so peaceful to walk the main streets and alongside the harbour. The shops were great & not expensive. Most cafés don’t mind you calling in for a drink but please ask as some prefer you to buy both food and drink. I would recommend sitting alongside or at the end of the harbour and watch the world go by! Also, please check out the local history. The cathedral is so peaceful and the historical houses are worth a visit too - all 5 euros each but please try to visit just one. Take your time and enjoy your surroundings!
P. R. (14 months ago)
Worth visiting. A ticket includes entrance to convent of Saint Augustine
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