Barcelona’s Last Bullring: Plaza de Toros Monumental

DSC00330A short walk from the iconic La Sagrada Familia is the Monumental Bullring, which first opened in 1914 under its original name “El Sport.” At the time, there were only two other bullrings in Barcelona, Plaza de El Torín, built in 1834, and Plaza de las Arenas, built in 1900. The venue tookDSC00345 its current name in 1916 when it expanded its capacity by 24,000 spectators as popularity for the sport grew. In 1977, following the closing of the city’s other two arenas, the Monumental became the last operational bullring in Barcelona prior to the ban on the sport passed by the lawmakers in Catalonia in 2010.

DSC00337The large brick building with its blue and white mosaic tile facades stands in stark contrast to its current surroundings. The arena may no longer host bull fights but it still holds much of the city’s bullfighting history. In addition to being able to tour the premises by walking its corridors and sitting in the stands, the arena is home to the Bullfighting Museum of Barcelona. Though small, the two room museum contains historic advertising posters, matador costumes, mounted bull heads as well as photographs and other memorabilia of the great matadors that have passed through the historic venue.

Gran Vía de las Corts Catalanes, 749