The bullrings, the place where bullfighting takes place
Although its tradition and its design reminds the ‘circus’ of ancient Europe, the first bullfighting area dedicated exclusively to ‘Lidia’ (bullfighting art), was built in 1741 and is the Real Maestranza of Seville. It is, therefore, the oldest active bullring in Spain. It has the peculiarity that its arena is not round.
Previously, bullfighting, which has roots in the deepest part of the history of Spain, was celebrated in public spaces enabled for it or in the traditional squares of the cities. In some cities the public squares are still used for the celebration of ‘corridas’, as in Chinchón or in Santa Cruz de Mudela.
But the most important bullring and also the first bullring in the world, is the Monumental of Las Ventas in Madrid, it’s the cathedral of bullfight in Spain. It’s Neomudéjar, as many of the important bullrings of our territory.
The bullrings can be:
- Permanent: buildings built for the celebration of bullfights, with a ring of diameter between 45 and 60 meters and which have bullpen, stables, horse yard and trailing yard.
- Non permanent: places whose main purpose is not the celebration of bullfight but where, occasionally, they are enabled and authorized.
- Portable: built on a metal or other structure to isolate a space and that are mounted and dismantled traditionally in towns and cities that do not have a permanent bullring.
The permanent bullrings are classified by category, according to their tradition, the number and type of bullfighting shows held, as well as their capacity.
- First category: those with a capacity of over 10,000 spectators, accredit a recognized bullfighting tradition and celebrate a minimum of 7 general bullfighting shows per season of which, at least 6, must be bullfights. In Spain there are 8: Madrid (Las Ventas), Seville (Real Maestranza), Barcelona (Monumental, currently in disuse), Valencia (Monumental), Bilbao (Vista Alegre), Zaragoza (La Misericordia), San Sebastián (Illumbe) and Córdoba (Coso of the Califas).
- Second category: capacity of more than 5.000 spectators and which celebrate or previse to celebrate a minimum of 5 general bullfighting shows per season, of which at least 4, must be bullfights.
- Third category: are the ones that do not fulfill the previous requirements and of which the majority of the bullrings are part.