Barcelona Bullring Opens as Shopping Mall
One of the city's most anticipated building projects was completed this week with the opening of Las Arenas Shopping Centre, in what was once a bullring.
La Plaza de Toras de las Arenas was designed by the architect Font i Carreras (not by Domenech i Montaner as some sources are reporting!) and held its inaugural bullfight in 1900. However after Franco died and Catalonia experienced a national renaissance there was little demand for this bloody Spanish tradition - the arena held its last corrida in 1977. (Although events continue in the privately owned Plaza de Toros Monumental, bullfighting becomes illegal in Catalonia as of 2012).
In it's new incarnation as a shopping mall Las Arenas now boasts a modern dome to go with its distinctive red brick work, courtesy of English architect Richard Rogers. More impressively the entire edifice was elevated by one floor during construction to help accommodate the 126 shops, restaurants, a 12 screen cinema, gym/spa and car-parking - not to mention the Rock Museum...the musical, not geological, variety.