Worlds largest mosque to be built in Barcelona city centre?

There has been outrage today as plans to build one of the world’s largest mosques in Barcelona city centre were unveiled. The plan is to rebuild the iconic (and now unused) bullring in the centre of the city.

Tamim bin Hamad Al Zani, the Jefe in chief of Qatar, who also sponsors Barça, the local football team, has offered the eye watering amount of 2,2 billion euros to build the mosque.

It would hold 40,000 people and be centered around a 300 metre high minaret.

The plans have already been secretly drawn up and German engineers and construction firm KSP Engel, Zimmermann Architekten, Krebs y Kiefer International have been retained.

Since the bullring is a world heritage monument, the plan would involve restoring the building to its original glory and having it at the centre of a tourist attraction open to all faiths.

The proposal has been met with what I can only describe as eye popping fury from some sections of Spanish society, including the PP, but the townhall is considering it.

Barcelona bullring
Barcelona bullring

The German firm has recently done a similar project in Argelia, which, lets be frank, as an Islamic state shouldn’t have a problem with it.

The owner of the bullring is a chap called Balañá, who was offered €330,000 in compensation when bull fighting was banned in 2011. He rejected this offer and is currently suing Barcelona for 10 million euros in lost earnings.

It’s not known if a sale has been agreed between both parties, and Balañá has consistently refused to say what he’s planning to do with the building. An earlier suggestion by cultural groups to use the building as a sort of cultural centre / open air museum was rebuffed.

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