Ciutadella Cathedral

The cathedral in Ciutadella, Menorca was built between 1300 and 1363 by the orders of King Alphonse III of Aragon after the conquest of Menorca in 1287. He chose to locate the building on the site where the main Mosque of the Muslim Medina stood. Parts of the mosque building are still present in the bell tower.

The main building is an ogival temple built in the Catalan Gothic style. It has a wide nave and six side chapels. The apse is oriented to the east. The Chapel of Souls was built in 1760 in an irregular octagonal layout covered with a polygonal drum vault with a cylindrical lantern. In 1810 Bishop Juano ordered the construction of the monumental Neoclassical Corinthian doorway.


Nine days after the Uprising in July 1936, the cathedral was closed by order of the Popular Front and uncontrolled groups destroyed the statues and burnt paintings and sacred objects. The bells were also destroyed a few months later.

Once the war had ended the cathedral was restored and in 1953 the building received the accolade of 'minor basilica'. In 1986 work on the interior and exterior stonework began and in 2005 the process culminated in the restoration of the apse with stained glass made by Vidrieras Barrios.


For me a visit to the cathedral was a wonderful few moments of peace and contemplation in cool surroundings on a hot summer's day and a chance to appreciate the stunning apse and its stained glass. I chuckled that the young lady selling tickets at the entrance managed to be friendly and welcoming, speak in a number of languages and still continue to write a text message. Unfortunately, there was not time to visit the convent as well which she had assured me made my ticket well worth the money.


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