Full guide to visit the Cathedral of Malaga

The Cathedral of Malaga is famous and unique in the world as it lacks the second tower that the original project contemplated. The work that took several centuries to build, was unfinished in 1782, having representations of various architectural styles.

Lacking a tower, the Cathedral of Malaga is known among the people of Malaga as “La Manquita” (one-armed)

We are facing an stone building, in which the dominant style is the late Renaissance and, although a large part was built in the Baroque period, the Renaissance forms conditioned the later work, even on the façade. We can appreciate the Gothic in its floor plan, Renaissance in its elevation and header, and Baroque in its main façade and in the decoration of its roofs.

Among his works of art, we highlight the magnificent canvas of the Virgen del Rosario created by Alonso Cano, his popular Virgen de los Reyes, the old Gothic altarpiece of Santa Bárbara or the Choir stalls, by Pedro de Mena.

Its official name is “Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica de la Encarnación”.



Brief history of the Basilica Cathedral of the Incarnation of Malaga.

We must go back to the year 1486, specifically to August 4th, to find the date of creation of the cathedral of Malaga, rather its approach, since it was the day of the papal bull “Ad illam fidei constatiam” of Pope Innocent VII.

Malaga was liberated from the Muslims by the Catholic Kings just a year later, in 1487.

Its construction began on the remains of the main mosque in Malaga, called Aljama, a building that had five naves with 113 free-standing columns in the middle of an urban fabric.

The construction of the new Cathedral officially began in 1528 under the direction of masters Enrique Egas, from the Cathedral of Toledo, and Pedro López, from that of Jaen. However, the absence of documentation on the final plans also reveals references to others such as Diego de Vergara or Diego de Siloé, director of the Granada Cathedral works.

Cathedral-of-Malaga-Main-Door

Cathedral at Patio de los Naranjos

From the beginning and anticipating what would be its non-completion, the construction was full of technical and economic difficulties, which always caused delays and complex solutions.

Key dates in the construction of the Basilica Cathedral of Malaga.

  • 1541: the works are stopped because they are considered wrong. Until then the address was Pero López.
  • 1546: Construction is resumed under one direction: Andrés de Vandelvira and Diego de Vergara.
  • 1564: the works of the chapels that open to the ambulatory are finished.
  • 1574: the arms of the transept are finished.
  • 1587: the Main Chapel was covered and decorated.
  • 1623: construction (with transept and headers completed) is stopped due to lack of money.
  • 1719: the cathedral continues to be built under the direction of José Bada.
  • 1756: Antonio Ramos replaces Bada and works on the baroque ornamentation of the temple.
  • 1768: it is opened for worship.
  • 1862: Queen Isabel II visits Malaga and discusses the idea of ​​completing the temple, something that ultimately was not carried out.

The construction continues until 1782 when the construction of the second tower is definitively stopped.

Map-Cathedral-Malaga

Malaga Cathedral Source: https://malagacatedral.com

Unfinished Cathedral.

In March 1782, the Malaga City Council sent an official letter to the Cathedral Chapter requesting an economic contribution to reach the sum of one million reais that was requested from Malaga to pay for the war that Spain and France were fighting against England. This fact definitively prevented the Cabildo from obtaining funds and with it the non-completion of the works.

Finally, the works of the Cathedral of Malaga never continued, leaving not only the second main tower unbuilt, but a third part of the work contained in the plans: the four remaining towers of the “cubillos”, two sacristies, the pantheon and various dependencies.

Opening hours and tickets for the Cathedral of Malaga.

Located in the historic heart of the city, it can be easily reached on foot from anywhere in the center or by public transport, which will leave us nearby.

Opening Hours of the Cathedral of Malaga.

The Cathedral of Malaga has different schedules according to the months of the year. Here the details:

November 1 to March 31.

  • Monday to Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sundays: 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

April 1 – June 30 and October 1 – October 31

  • Monday to Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sundays: 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

July 1 to September 30.

  • Monday to Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sundays: 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Free entrance to the Cathedral of Malaga.

Free admission to the Cathedral of Malaga is from 9 to 10 in the morning from Monday to Thursday for the general public.

This free ticket does not include an audio guide and is valid only for the cathedral.

Entrance to the Cathedral is free for residents of Malaga, people with disabilities and children under 13 years of age.

Tickets for the Cathedral of Malaga.

Tickets to the Cathedral can be obtained both in person, at the box office or online.

Ticket types and prices.

For access to the Cathedral we have different types of tickets and prices according to ages:

  • General: €6
    • Cathedral + Covers: €10.
  • Seniors: €5.50. More than 65 years.
    • Cathedral + Covers: €9.
  • Groups: €4. More than 15 people.
    • Cathedral + Covers: €7.
  • Youth: €3. 13 to 17 years old.
    • Cathedral + Covers: €6.
  • Students: €4. 18 to 25 years old.
    • Cathedral + Covers: €7.
  • Schoolchildren: €2. Children under 12 years in group.
    • Cathedral + Covers: €5.

Entrance to the Cathedral is free for residents of Malaga, people with disabilities and children under 13 years of age.

In addition to the classic visit to the interior of the Cathedral, you can visit the roofs of the Cathedral, which has its own schedule and prices.

On this visit you climb to a height of almost 50 meters with more than two hundred steps.

Panoramic-views-Cathedral-Malaga

The Cathedral of Malaga

Timetable of the Roofs of the Cathedral of Malaga.

Like the cathedral, the Roofs have different hours according to the months of the year. Here the details:

November 1 to March 31.

  • Monday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

April 1 – June 30.

  • Monday to Friday: 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00 and 19:00
  • Saturdays: 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Sundays: 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

1 October – 31 October

  • Monday to Friday: 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Sundays: 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

July 1 to September 30.

  • Monday to Friday: 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sundays: 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Tickets and prices of the ascent to the Roofs of the Cathedral of Malaga.

Ticket types.

For access to the Roof of the Cathedral of Malaga we have different types of tickets according to age:

  • General: €6
  • Seniors: €5.50. More than 65 years.
  • Groups: €4. More than 15 people.
  • Youth: €3. 13 to 17 years old.
  • Students: €4. 18 to 25 years old.
  • Schoolchildren: €2. Children under 12 years in group.

You can make a night visit to the roofs, with special hours and prices, which can be consulted on the following website.

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