Plans for the construction of a new cathedral for Madrid dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena began in the 16th century, but the slow construction did not begin until 1879. Francisco de Cubas, the Marquis of Cubas, was the architect who designed and directed the construction in a Gothic revival style. Construction ceased completely during the Spanish Civil War. The project was abandoned until 1950, when Fernando Chueca Goitia adapted the plans of de Cubas to a neoclassical style exterior to match the grey and white façade of the Palacio Real, which stands directly opposite. and was not completed until 1993, when the cathedral was consecrated by Pope John Paul II. The Neo-Gothic interior is uniquely modern, with chapels and statues of contemporary artists, in heretogeneous styles, from historical revivals to "pop-art" decor.