What was once a major bullring in Barcelona that hosted the likes of Bob Marley is now set to be converted into the world's third largest mosque to cater to the Spanish city's Muslim community.
A Barcelona bullring, which once played host to Bob Marley, is set to be turned into a the world's third largest Mosque. The Plaza Monumental de Barcelona is set to be transformed as part of the 2.2 billion euro project, bank-rolled by the Emir of Qatar. The plans include a 300m high minaret, which may become the largest in the world after those in Mecca and Medina.
The 40,000 capacity centre for Barcelona’s Muslims will also have a conference hall, a Koran study center, housing for up to 300 people, and a museum of Islamic art and history. Barcelona Islamic expert Mowafak Kanfach claims the whopping house of worship will become a matter of pride among local people.
He said: "Locals would have to be proud that Muslims transformed the pain of the bulls into a spiritual center. The law says that everyone has the right to pray in a dignified place, not in a commercial premises."
The bullring, which first opened in 1914, has hosted the concerts of many celebrities, including The Beatles, Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones and Bob Marley. Since the ban on bullfights in Catalonia in 2010, no bullfighting has been held in the arena.
The move could be completed as early as 2020 - if plans are given the go-ahead by local government chiefs. Property firm 'Balaña Group' is thought to have agreed the sale with the plans due before government planners within weeks. The latest statistics show that there were at least 500,000 Muslims were living in Barcelona in 2012.