A bullring with over 240 years of history, built in 1761, Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza in Seville, Spain is today a landmark in Spanish bullfighting. With all the controversy surrounding bullfighting, my kids weren’t keen on seeing this museum in Seville, but I on the other hand was excited to tour this historic arena, Why? Because this is such an integral part of Spain’s culture that it’s hard not to separate bullfighting from the fabric of Spain. And as with any cultural tradition this too is steeped in history and a story of how this sport came about in the first place is what can be understood at this historic museum and still working arena.
As I found out even today during the summer months every Thursday night bullfighting shows are still orchestrated at this arena. Our guide pointed out however that it’s more of a “show” rather than the traditional bullfighting experience people expect. Here is a look at this spectacular arena and a little history on the sport.
A Historical perspective
Did you know that originally bulls were used as a way to train knights on horses? Bulls were used to train knights on how to dodge obstacles by practicing dodging bulls during training. When knights trained with bulls it garnered large audiences who came to watch. This training event became such a spectator sport that eventually horses were no longer in the picture and the event became what we now know as bullfighting.
Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza
The arena is such a grand and majestic building with bold yellow and red colors that it’s hard not to admire the beauty of this building.
The hallways leading to the arena.
Colorful Posters Enticing People to Attend the Bullfighting Shows
Promoting the shows is such a huge part of the bullfight that corridors at the arena are lined with posters from years past. Similar posters can be seen on street poles and on streets all over Seville even today promoting upcoming bullfighting shows.
A look at the ornate costumes the matadors wore for their fight.
Historical paintings depicting the bullfighting scenes of past.
The area where the bulls are held before released into the arena.
Before the matadors walk on to the arena stage, they stop by this shrine to pray and take a drink of holy water.
Walking towards the grand stage – the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza
What a stunning arena!
I have never seen anything this unique and beautiful.
A bullfighting arena to remember.
The bullfighting museum is a worthwhile excursion for those who want to get a historical perspective on the sport and appreciate the beauty of this beautiful cultural arena.