Plaza de Toros de Sevilla
Historic Building and Museum in Seville
The Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla is a 12,000-capacity bullring in the El Arenal harbor district of Seville, Spain. It is the largest and most important arena for bullfighting in Spain. There are still fights held today, but if you prefer to visit at a quieter time, the arena alone is a wonderful sight to behold with its late baroque architecture and impressive main entrance with a structure of exposed stone.
Bullfighting might be a controversial subject but ‘The Bullring’ is one of Seville’s most popular attractions, and is the perfect place to experience the electric atmosphere of a corrida or bullfight. The ‘Catedral del Toreo’ was also immortalized in Bizet’s Carmen.
The Plaza de Toros is considered one of the world’s most challenging environments because of its history, characteristics, and viewing public, which is considered one of the most unforgiving in all of bullfighting fandom.
After an outstanding performance the torero or bullfighter would be carried out through these gates on the audience’s shoulders.
Look out for:
- The slight slope in the arena; it’s higher in the center than near the stalls to give the bullfighter an advantage – he can sprint downhill to get behind the barricade, while the bull has to come to a stop to avoid crashing into it.
- The acoustics of the arena allow you to hear everything, no matter where they were seated!
Tours of the Plaza de Toros in Seville
The tour visits the small but interesting museum, which traces the sport’s history from the 18th century to present day. Part of the museum is a hall with paintings about bullfighting as well as a collection of memorabilia includes costumes, posters and bull’s heads!
You also visit the chapel, dedicated to the Virgen de la Caridad, where fighters pray before entering the ring, and an infirmary – in 20 per cent of bullfights the torero needs emergency treatment. The bulls aren’t as lucky, of course as all are killed! There’s a souvenir shop selling books, postcards and posters in the entrance.
The History of the Plaza de Toros in Seville
Construction began in 1749 of a circular ring on Baratillo Hill to replace the rectangular bullring that was previously located there. The building, with its impressive Baroque façade, dates from 1762 -1881 and was built by a number of different architects. Between 1914 and 1915 the stone grandstands were renovated with in brick. The main entrance is the Puerta del Príncipe (the Prince’s Gate) with beautiful 16th-century iron gates, originally from a convent, made by Pedro Roldán.
Famous visitors to the Plaza de Toros in Seville
Famous visitors to the Maestranza include Hollywood screen legend Rita Hayworth (original name Margarita Carmen Dolores Cansino; her father was Sevillano); and her second husband, bullfighting aficionado Orson Welles, who came to Seville in the 1960s to write and learn the sport.
Other names of Plaza de Toros de Sevilla
The Plaza de Toros de Sevilla has the following names: Catedral del Toreo, Real Maestranza de Caballería.
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