After many years of planning and construction, the conversion of Barcelona’s 19th century bullring in Plaça Espanya has been completed, featuring commercial, gastronomic and leisure premises, with the original façade completely intact. The new mall ‘Las Arenas de Barcelona’ opens to the public on March 25, with the official inauguration taking place the day before.
The former bullring was constructed between 1898 and 1900 in the Neo-Mudéjar style, but was superseded by the larger, 20,000 capacity La Monumental bullring in 1914, from which time on its use went into decline, though the Beatles played there in the 1960’s.
The conversion was undertaken by London based Richard Rogers Architects. The bullring’s crumbling façade was totally restored, whilst the interior was gutted and replaced with an impressive 105,816m2 shopping and entertainment centre with 110 shops, a 12-screen multiplex cinema, a museum, a gym, parking for 1,250 cars and five basement levels. In addition a 5,500m2 office block has been built alongside the main building.
The roof space is especially impressive, its outer edge forms a roof-top public plaza, with bars and restaurants offering panoramic views of the city.
A number of restuarants have already opened in las Arenas, including Pura Brassa, as reviewed in this blog.
Where to Stay
The area around Las Arenas offers plenty of apartment rental accommodation possibilities. Gran Via A and Gran Via B apartments are no more than 5 minutes walk away. See our Fira apartments section for a full list of apartments in the vicinity of Las Arenas.