Madrid home to largest bullring in Spain

May 24, 2013
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Regarded as the home of bullfighting in Spain, Plaza de Toros de las Ventas is the country’s largest bullring. Situated in the Salamanca district east of Madrid’s city center, Las Ventas has a seating capacity of 25,000, making it an exciting venue for those looking to experience their first bullfight.

The history of modern bullfighting in Spain stretches back to the 18th century and remains as an important aspect of Spanish culture. From an early age, locals are exposed to the Spanish blood sport known as corrida de toros and attend the fights regularly with their families.

Nayade Moncin Huesćar began working at Las Ventas in 2012 and recalls attending her first bullfight at Las Ventas as a child.

“My father took me when I was young and I really liked watching the matadors face off against the bulls,” Huesćar said.

Construction of Las Ventas began in 1922, and a charity bullfight inaugurated the ring on June 17, 1931. The ring is divided into 10 sections called tendidos, which are groups of 27 rows spaced around the arena. Depending on the proximity of the seats to the center of the ring and whether they are in the shade or sun, ticket prices can range from $6.50 to $149.50.

The bullfighting season begins in late March and lasts until October. During a fight, three matadors each face off against two Miura bulls that weigh more than 1,000 pounds.  All six fights last around 30 minutes, and spectators can expect a three-hour show from start to finish.

Robert and Julie Young, on holiday from the U.K., took a tour of Las Ventas before attending the first bullfight of the season later that night. It would also be their first time experiencing a fight.

“I’m expecting some real entertainment. It’s not just the bulls I’m excited to see, but also experiencing the culture within the arena,” Robert Young said.