Barcelona won a new attraction with the opening of the shopping centre "Las Arenas". On six floors you can find 115 shops, a fitness centre, a cinema with 12 cinema halls, an event hall, several bars and restaurants. The shopping centre was built in a former bull ring.
The view from the rooftop of the building is especially nice: you can experience a 360 degree view over the city and the Montjuïc. Today Las Arenas is a consumption and leisure time palace, with an architecture worth seeing.
Las Arenas is located right at Plaça Espanya, where the Avinguda del Paral·lel, the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, the c/Tarragona and the c/Sants coincide. Furthermore you can reach Las Arenas via metro (two lines) and with several trains.
The converted Las Arenas was inaugurated in March 2011. It was designed by the British architect Richard Rogers in cooperation with Alonso Balaguer. From the outside you can still see the former purpose of the building: Las Arenas used to be one of Barcelona's three bull rings.
The bull ring was opened in 1900. Augusto Font i Carreras, who also finished the facade of Barcelona's Cathedral, designed the bull ring. It was one of his most important buildings.
Barcelona was never really into bullfights, since it was and still is frowned upon because of cultural and political reasons. People saw it as the sports of the Castilian suppressors. The last bullfight took place in the arena in 1977 one year after Franco's death. The building designed in Neo-Mudejar Architecture (see in the box on the right) was left to its own resources for many years. Trees were growing inside of the arena and many shady people went there.
According to Richard Rogers it would have been easier to just tear down the walls and to construct a new building. However they realized that the arena was a histocially important sight and they decided that the facade had to be preserved.
The pretty slim facade was underpinned, the building gutted and the completely round facade raised up a few metres. It almost looks like it was floating above the street. In the inside a modern and bright interior was built out of steel, glass and brick.
The beginning and process of the renovation is documented and is displayed in the third level (cinema level). You can see pictures of the start of construction and of the progress, as well as of the completion and the inauguration.
The three lower levels with shops and the cinema build their own structure in Las Arenas. They are organised around a large atrium. The two upper leves and the roof top protude beyond the historical facade.
From here you can go to the Montjuïc, which is located close by. The mountain offers many things worth seeing: Font Màcica, Museu National d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC), Pavillon Mies van der Rohe, Miró Museum and the Castell de Montjuïc.
On the northern side you can find the Parc de Joan Miró.
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 373-385
Metro: Plaça Espanya (L1, L3)
Bus Turístic: Plaça Espanya
Monday to Saturday 10-22.00
Mon. to Tue. 16-1.00
Fri., Sat. and the days before bank holidays: 10-03.00
The 4 Sundays before Christmas shops and restaurants are open.
Mudéjars were Muslims, that were still allowed to practice their religion after the expulsion of the Moors when the Spanish kings took over the leadership.
The Mudéjars were working in the agriculture, did handicrafts and had a great influence on the architecture. The Mudéjar style began in the 12th century and had it\\'s heyday in the 14th century.
In the progress Islamic archtitecture was mixed with the archtitecture of the Romantic period, the Gothic and the Renaissance.
The rediscovery of the Mudéjar on the Iberian Peninsula in the 19th century and the first 30 years of the 20th century is referred to as Neo-Mudéjar. It was popular to apply the Neo-Mudéjar style in the bullrings, as it is the case with Las Arenas. The Arc de Triomf, built for the world exhibition in 1888, is another example of the Neo-Mudéjar style.
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