Malaga Cathedral (Cathedral de la Encarnación)



Built between 1528 and 1782, after Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand expelled the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula, Málaga Cathedral (Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga) is one of the city’s top historic landmarks. Designed by architect Diego de Siloé, the cathedral is a unique combination of Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque styles.

The Basics
Despite its impressive size and elaborate interior, the Málaga Cathedral lacks a matching bell tower and is technically unfinished, garnering the name La Manquita (or “the one-armed woman”). Though it’s not known for sure why the cathedral remains incomplete, a plaque on the side of the building states that funds were donated to help the United States colonies gain independence from British rule. After touring the inside, explore the cathedral’s small museum, or wander the beautiful gardens. And if you’re up for a bit of cardio, climb the more than 200 stairs to the rooftop.

Many Málaga city tours stop by the cathedral. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The cathedral and its gardens are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
  • While access to the gardens is free, there’s a small entry fee for the cathedral and museum. Rooftop access is extra.
  • The cathedral has a separate entrance for worshippers.
  • Guided tours of the cathedral’s roof and bell tower are offered in English and Spanish.
How to Get There
The cathedral is located in the heart of Málaga’s historic center, and parking can be challenging—if you’re driving, look for a space at Plaza María Guerrero, about a 5-minute walk away. Taxis are a convenient option.

When to Get There
The cathedral is typically open to visitors Monday through Saturday; rooftop tours usually run Tuesday through Sunday. Mass is held on Sundays and holidays. 

While You’re There, Visit the Iglesia del Sagrano
Adjoining the cathedral is the smaller Iglesia del Sagrano. Founded in the 15th century, this church was constructed in an unusual rectangular shape and features its original Isabelline-Gothic doorway and entrance. The structure was rebuilt in 1714 and boasts a richly decorated interior.


Calle Molina Lario, 9
Malaga, Andalusia


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