It's widely accepted that the Catalans don't like bullfighting. That's something very Spanish - Osborne's monstrous black silhouettes around the country's highways and festivals such as San Isidrio in Andalucia are huge events for local people, and it has to be said that as an imagery to foreigners most people recognise Flamenco, Paella & Sangria and Bull fighting as a typical weekend in any Spaniard's diary. Not so in Catalunya. They mock the bull.
While the city has been the home of two bull rings over the years - Las Arenas and Monumental - it will be the proud owner of none come this Sunday. Saturday sees the very last appearance of bulls within Monumental, at least in front of Matadores for the viewing public that is. Across town, Las Arenas has been converted (albeit very slowly) into a rather snazzy shopping mall with gyms, Rock Museum and endless shops and restaurants.
You can't say it hasn't been coming. From locals recording disgusted tourists on camera and then uploading the videos to youtube, to official protests and demonstrations, the whole thing went to court and the new law will be introduced and enforced as of 2012 - No bullfighting in Catalunya. I think if you ask the majority of locals what they think about, they'll agree that it doesn't bother them one bit. In fact, it's true to say that the majority of the seats at Monumental over the past few years have been filled by tourists, so it's hardly going to be missed.
So what will happen to Monumental? I have no idea, so welcome any comments of people who may be in the know. Of course it can stay as a concert venue, or sports venue of sorts, I don't think there's a need for another Mall of sorts, but surely the structure will be kept - as much as the locals don't like what goes on in there, it's become part of the urban landscape of the city and is extremely distinctive. Feel free to comment if you do know what's planned!
Thinking of visiting the city this Autumn ? Check out these apartments for rent via BCN Rentals for a great deal on accommodation. And for a quick heads up of what to see and what not to miss, check out their Barcelona Guide.