Testimony to the rise and decline of bullfighting in Catalonia
Built in 1914, at the height of bullfighting’s popularity in Barcelona, this bullring was one of the most prestigious in Spain. And in 2011 it was the venue of Catalonia’s last bullfight. In addition to its architectural wealth, La Monumental has great symbolic value because it was witness to demonstrations both for and against bullfighting.
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Why visit La Monumental?
La Monumental, which has a capacity for 19,582 spectators, hosted bullfights from 12 April 1914 to 25 September 2011. In 1914 it was inaugurated with a Noucentista style facade under the name of ‘El Sport’. But in 1916 the success of its bullfights led to its remodelling and expansion by the architect Ignasi Mas i Morell in collaboration with Domènec Sugrañes. It was then when an exterior crowning in the Mudejar and Byzantine style with a Modernista air was added and it was renamed ‘Monumental’.
The abolition of bullfighting in Catalonia came into force on 1 January 2012 and three months earlier in September 2011 the last bullfight took place during Barcelona’s Festa Major. Following the disappearance of El Torín, which opened in 1834 in La Barceloneta and closed in 1923, and Les Arenes, which opened in 1900 in Plaça d’Espanya and was active until 1977, La Monumental, Barcelona’s last bullring, has now also closed its doors to bullfighting, but it still hosts concerts and other events.
How do you get to La Monumental?
La Monumental is located at the confluence of Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes and Carrer de la Marina. Hop off at the Sagrada Família stop on the Blue Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic and walk down Carrer de Marina.
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? During the Spanish Civil War La Monumental was used as a garage and a metal storage facility and some of its wooden benches were removed to build cement ramps for vehicles.
- Local’s tip: If you want to travel around the city by bicycle, Carrer de Marina, home to both La Monumental and the Sagrada Família, is one of the best streets for riding. From there you can easily reach the Olympic Port.
- A must: For those who are curious about bullfighting.
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