Bullfighting is dead. Long live retail therapy.

On the way to meet Emily and Miquel today, we spotted a large arena. Surely that must be a bullring? But bullfighting’s outlawed in Catalonia, so what could it be now?
It was the former bullring. Built at the turn of the twentieth century in Moorish style, with a capacity for sixteen thousand spectators, it never really earned its keep. Even before the sport was banned, Catalans didn’t enjoy bullfights, and the Arena saw its last fight in 1977.

The building stood empty and unused till 1999. Richard Rogers’ architectural practice was selected to design a state-of-the-art complex of shops, cinemas and restaurants which also preserved the historic red facade.

It’s wonderful. Shopping’s no fun as far as I’m concerned, but gazing at the massive girders which hold the current structure in place, or walking round the roof terrace (in the pouring rain) to have 360° views over Plaça d’Espanya and beyond was a fine way to spend a morning.

16 thoughts on “Bullfighting is dead. Long live retail therapy.”

  1. look at those colours of yellow and red – how fortunate that they can symbolise both Spanish and Catalan flags. Nice you showed the Moorish windows. And I love the chap at the bottom shaking his umbrella as he comes in from the elements trundling his ?case ?dog ?second umbrella behind him. The rain looks very wet indeed. And the imperial grandeur of the buildings as one looks over the Plaça d’Espanya looks like the imperial longings expressed in many another city. All interesting. And as you say better than bullfighting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh it’s all been very wet and un-Barcelona like. Rain doesn’t suit this city! I hadn’t thought those girders might be symbolically coloured. You could well be right ….


  2. Fascinating building. I was intrigued by this blog title as I know your feelings about ‘retail therapy’! I understand now. Looking forward to a proper catch up on your return. x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So agree with you – no fan of shopping, but infinity preferable to bull fighting anytime. Original building looks like a Moorish interpretation of the Colosseum. Very dramatic.


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