The Monumental in Barcelona: the Bullring, the History and More

It no longer houses bullfights but continues to treasure history and architecture that is worth knowing. The Monumental of Barcelona is a bullring that opened in 1914 and is located between Marina Street and Gran Vía, in the Eixample district.

It is a brick building with polychrome tiles in which Neomudéjar and Byzantine styles meet, and which, after failing to host bullfighting events, now becomes the setting for other types of shows.

In this article, we will speak about its history and will tell you about its present. The rest we invite you to see it with your own eyes during your visit to Barcelona.

The history of the Monumental of Barcelona

The Monumental bullring began its journey in Barcelona with the name of Plaza de El Sport. It was the year 1914 and, in this way, it was added to other bullrings that already existed in the city like the Plaza del Torín (known as Plaza de La Barceloneta) and Plaza de las Arenas.

The change of its name arrived two years later, the time when the capacity of the square had increased from the more than 11,000 spectators to welcome more than 24,000 people. Over the years it became considered one of the most prestigious bullrings in our country.

In 1977 it was the only one that remained in Barcelona after the Plaza del Torín and the Arenas had closed. Although this place still had important moments to live as, for example, the reappearance of José Tomás in 2007 after having been five years retired.

But there was not much left to do in this arena. In 2010 the Parliament of Catalonia banned bullfighting and the Monumental was the last to hold one in all of Catalonia. It was in September 2011 and was led by the bullfighters José Tomás and Serafín Martín.

The scenario of other events

The Monumental of Barcelona has not only offered bulls and bullfighters spectacles. It has also been the scene of famous concerts that chose this location. Perhaps the most important was the one that the Beatles performed on July 3, 1965, the only one offered by the English band in Barcelona.

Rolling Stones Monumental Barcelona

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The Rolling Stones also came here in 1976; It was their first concert in our country. Bob Marley, Tina Turner, Dire Straits or Bruce Springsteen were other artists who filled with music this plaza during the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

Likewise, the Monumental of Barcelona has also hosted circus and sports shows, mainly boxing, and even political meetings.

On the other hand, in this arena, you can visit the Bullfighting Museum of Barcelona, which was opened in 1969. Inside it is possible to see mythical posters, heads of some of the most famous bulls, costumes bullfighters and bullfighters and all type of elements related to the world of bullfighting.

The architecture of the bullring the Monumental of Barcelona

As we have already told you at the beginning of this post, this bullring in Barcelona has a Neomudéjar and Byzantine style.

The neomudéjar architecture was related mainly with constructions of this type and others also dedicated to leisure. In its buildings, we see the brick as the most significant Mudejar feature, although it also uses Caliphate, Almohad and Nasrid elements.

The expansion of the plaza carried out in 1916 was led by the architect Ignasi Mas i Morell, who counted on the collaboration of Domènec Sugrañes. At that time, an exterior crown of Mudejar and Byzantine style, with a modernist air, was incorporated into its original design.

The Monumental today

After the ruling of the Constitutional Court of 2016 that once again allows bullfights to be held at the Monumental de Barcelona, ​​it is still not very clear what will happen to this place. We talk about several projects on the table, such as transforming it into a mosque or a shopping center, as happened with Las Arenas, in Plaza España.

However, the future still seems uncertain.

What we do know is its most immediate present.

One of the proposals that are already active in this bullring is the Monumental Club. It is a cultural and leisure initiative that takes place one weekend a month and where it has room for gastronomy in street food format, live music, children’s activities and market space in which fashion projects are made known, of decoration or design, among others, are presented.

The idea is that the Monumental of Barcelona becomes a reference point for leisure and culture in Barcelona.