La Moños (The Buns) was a popular character who walked through the Rambla in the first half of the twentieth century.

La Rambla in Barcelona has always been a kind of factory of emblematic people. All generations have had a touching and “crazy” person to talk about. One of those characters whose presence you get used to and even make your day. Until one day they disappear and mutilate, just a little bit, the most popular street of the city.

One of those people La Rambla will never forget was  Dolors Bonella i Alcázar, who would be remembered as La Moños (The Buns). She was a small woman dressed in gaudy blouses, bizarre long skirts, and over makeup. One day she was fighting with herself and running across and the other she stopped passers-by with a childish smile asking them “Hi Lord, fancy a song or a little verse?”

la moños
La Moños


She was born in 1851 at Cadena street, now Rambla del Raval. Locals began to notice her presence during the twenties, a time of economic progress marked by the arrival of the Industrial Revolution in Catalonia. The Liceu theater was full of rich bourgeoisie waiting for the next show and beggars paying attention to their watches and jewelry.  They were the times of florists, social gatherings in Canaletas and the consolidation of modernism. In that prosperous calm coming before the storm of a civil war was she, La Moños, being part of the routine of people crossing the street where everything starts in Barcelona.

A tragic story

No one knows very well what the origin of her madness is. All theories converge on the trauma of a baby she never raised and a positioned man who took advantage of his privileges to harm her. Some say a marquess made her pregnant and stole her daughter, others that the owner of a mansion embarrassed her and forced her to have an abortion. Finally, it is also rumored that she had a baby with a high class man who kidnapped her.

Some business of Barcelona used La Moños to promote their products.


The madness of La Moños and her tragic was not only food for talk among neighbors. She became a symbol of nonconformity especially when the Civil War broke out. They say that during the 1937 May Days, which faced anarchists and Trotskyists on the one hand and the Republican Government and Catalan Generalitat on the other, a ceasefire was made between the CNT and UGT militiamen so that she could cross the intersection between Paseo de Gràcia and Diagonal.

This broken doll with a golden heart died in a hospice in 1940 at the age of 89. Sne left without making noise but his outlandish appearance and life have been portrayed in an automaton doll in the Tibidabo’s Museo de Autómatas , a film directed by Mireia Ros, a musical and even a sardana.