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Spanish bullfights are a spectacle worth watching and probably our most famous tradition. The Seville bullring (plaza de toros) is called the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, but it is popularly known as La Maestranza. It is the most ancient bullring in Spain and my favorite one along with Las Ventas in Madrid, the biggest one!
It was built and it is owned by the Real Maestranza de Caballería, a noble corporation founded in the 17th century. The Corporation’s aim was to train its members in riding practices and weapons handling in order to support the Crown at war.
La Maestranza is considered the mecca of bullfighting, not only because of its history and tradition, but also because the public is considered one of the most expert and unforgiving of the world. Remember that bullfighting is also a tradition in Portugal, France and Latin America so we are not the only country enjoying it.
The Maestranza bullring is for sure one of the most visited attractions in the city and it is a not to miss if you want to know more about bulls, toreros and the Spanish fiesta in an amazing site.
Website: Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza (only in Spanish)
Address: Paseo de Cristobal Colon, 2
Adults: 7 €
Reduced (Seniors and Students): 4 €
Children (6-11 years old): 3 €
Free admission to La Maestranza is included with the Sevilla Card
November to April: Mondays to Sundays 9:30 to 19:00
June to September: Mondays to Sundays 9:30 to 11:00
May and October: Mondays to Sundays 9:30 to 20:00
Note: The entrance and opening hours are for the museum (Museo Taurino) and the bullring on a regular day. But be careful because if you are planning to visit it on the afternoon of a fighting day, everything will be closed.
To purchase a reduced ticket to visit La Maestranza you must have with you an official document proving your status. Carry it with you!
The ticket will include a guided visit both in English and Spanish of approximately 45 minutes. The visit includes the bullring, a couple of rooms with objects and paintings related to bullfighting, the toreros‘ chapel and the horse yard. You’ll also have a brief explanation of a corrida (bullfight in Spanish). Bullfights are very peculiar and interesting: they have lots of traditions and certain rules that need to be respected.
The best way to discover La Maestranza is to go inside for a bullfight. However, the season is relatively short, and chances are you visit Seville at a time of the year when there are no bullfights going on. Thus the possibility for you to join a guided tour and discover both the bullring the museum.
Additionally, the Sevilla Card you will guarantee your ticket. You won’t have to worry about the time of the year or long lines. Just get there and show your city pass at the entrance.
To ensure your entrance, the best option is to get yours before you leave home. As soon as you’ll have you can start discovering the beauty of Seville!
Attend a bullfight and experience the passion of Seville as seen from the most beautiful bullring in the world, La Maestranza. Or discover the intricacies surrounding the art of bullfighting. You’ll be amazed how many customs and rules drive this extraordinary universe.
Be wise, make sure to get your tickets well in advance. To help you with this easy procedure, read the complete guide regarding the purchase of bullfight tickets online. After that, you’ll be a couple of clicks away to have your tickets immediately.
La Maestranza construction started in 1730 although it was initially square-shaped! I let you imagine how dangerous this was. Fortunately, in 1733 the Corporation decided to build a circular bullring, part in stone and part in wood.
Over the years a lot of elements were added. One of them is the Prince’s box (Palco del Príncipe) completed in 1765 and built for Felipe de Borbón, heir and son of Felipe V and Isabel Farnesio, and the first Royal principal of the Corporation. Another one is the Prince’s Gate (Puerta del Principe), the most important of La Maestranza in spite of not being the main one, because it is the torero‘s exit if he has succeeded in the fight.
In 1768, Carlos III forbade bullfights and the construction was stopped. In 1881 the bullring was finally completed, with the whole structure in stone and all the wooden parts removed.
Finally, in 1914-15 the architect Aníbal González, the same that designed the Plaza de España, changed the stone structure for a brick one and practically rebuilt the whole bullring including modifications and renovations. The final result is what you can see today.
The Real Maestranza de Caballería is a cavalry and noble corporation founded in 1670. Its members belong to old noble families.
Between 1729 and 1733 Felipe V stayed in Seville and received support from the Corporation in spite of being French and the first Bourbon king of Spain. To express his gratitude, the King granted important privileges to the Corporation, including the Royal treatment (Real in Spanish). Furthermore, the principal of the Royal Corporation would be one of his sons, Felipe.
From Fernando VII (who reigned from 1808 to 1833) on, the principal is the King himself and today the current King of Spain, Felipe VI, has this title.
Since its foundation, the Corporation organized public events promoting horse shows. And in 1730 it received the privilege to hold bullfights. From that moment the shows included bulls for both training the riders and entertaining the spectators. Can you imagine? At that time Spanish bullfights were a military training!
Currently, the Corporation still supports riding and bullfighting activities, especially the Feria de Abril. During that time Spanish bullfights are hold for a period of 16-18 days in April, one per day.