In July 2010 Catalonia’s parliament voted to ban bullfighting from 2012 onwards. This 2011 season, which runs until September, is the last time you will be able to watch a bullfight in Barcelona in the cities bullring, the ‘Monumental’.
The Catalonian ban has been a catalyst to opponents of bullfighting across Spain who hope to see a ban throughout the country. The bullfight is an event that divides opinion fiercely, witnessed in the pavements splattered with blood-red paint outside the Monumental, a legacy of years of protests. When a bullfight takes place at Monumental protesters gather outside with signs saying ‘stop now’ spalttered with red paint.
During Spain’s dictatorship under Franco bullfighting was promoted as authentically Spanish; something that probably has contributed to its lack of popularity here in Catalonia. Andalucia and Castiila, in particular Madrid, are the areas where bullfighting remains most popular, bullfighting is seen by many as intrinsic to the Spanish identity. The King of Spain is an open fan of the sport and sometimes presides over a bullfight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid along with his daughter Elena. He is reported to have said “the day the EU bans bullfighting is the day Spain leaves the EU”.
It is no surprise therefore some have said that the move to ban bullfighting is motivated more by Catalan Independentism than interest in animal welfare, despite the ban stemming from a proposal by the civic animal rights platform “Prou!” (Catalan for enough).
So if you want to see this controversial spectacle for yourself and make up your own mind by witnessing it first hand, you only have a few months left to do so in Barcelona.
Where to Stay
If you are coming to Barcelona and wish to see a bullfight this summer we can recommend plenty of accommodation near the Monemental bullring. The Sicilia building offers 15 Barcelona apartments just two blocks away from the Monumental. Also closeby is the Valencia building, no more than 15 minutes walk away.