Plaza Monumental de Barcelona
Plaza Monumental de Barcelona is a Plaza de Toros, or in English a bullfighting arena. It has been opened in 1914 under the name Plaza de El Sport and was quickly renamed in 1916 to its current name “Monumental”. It is the last place where bullfighting took place since the Parliament of Catalonia passed a ban on bullfighting events on July 28th 2010, to come into force in 2012.
The building that is located where Calle Marina meets Gran Via in the district of Eixample is an impressive piece of architecture in byzantine and mudejar style that has been created by Joachim Raspall. The arena can host up to 20 000 people on its 26 different rows for bullfights and up to 25.000 visitors for concerts if parts of the ring are utilized for spectators as well. Monumental has been the last arena in Barcelona that has been used for bullfights.
Those, however, were mainly targeted at tourists, as the Catalan society is not particularly interested in this very Spanish tradition due to political reasons and their wish for independence from Spain. This lack of interest also led to usually more than half empty arenas if a bullfight took place and there would also be a group of activists protesting against the show outside the building.
On the 28th of July of 2010 the Catalan government finally banned bullfighting everywhere in Catalonia, which led to worldwide attention. The former arena will now mainly be used for circuses, concerts and other similar events. In the past already great concerts took place in Monumental among them the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner and many others. The wonderful architecture and nice location will certainly guarantee that the building will be utilized well in the future also, even though no bullfights will be held there anymore.