Las Ventas Bullring

Salamanca - Retiro

History 

Based on a project by José Espelius, who died during its construction, it was completed by Manuel Muñoz Monasterio in 1931 and opened in the same year. Las Ventas holds 23,798 fans and, at 196 feet in diameter, the arena is one of the largest in the world. 

Constructed in a Neo-Mudéjar style with hand-painted tiles, it houses an important bullfighting museum which illustrates the history of Las Ventas; it also has a chapel devoted to the Virgen de Guadalupe and to the Virgen de la Paloma, patrons of Mexico and Madrid, respectively. The bullring also has an infirmary equipped with the latest technology and two complete operating theatres. Las Ventas Bullring is one of the most important in the world, if not the most important, and it is here that bullfighters either triumph or fail.

The Ventas Tour allows visitors to learn more about the legendary Las Ventas bullring. It is a guided tour taking place every day while the bullring is open and provides a close-up view of the arena, the seats, the refuge and the gates, among other details, giving you a chance to see the event from the bullfighter’s point of view. 

 

 

From 1913 to 1920, the national passion (bullfighting) gained such an important status that Madrid’s former main bullring in Carretera de Aragón was not big enough. It was José Gómez Ortega “Joselito” who declared that a new “monumental” bullring had to be built, to open this part of Spain’s heritage and culture to the whole city of Madrid. His friend the architect José Espeliú began to work on the project.

A family called Jardón donated the land to the Madrid Provincial Council, provided that they could run the arena for fifty years. The deputation accepted the proposal on November 12, 1920. On March 19, 1922, in the exact center of the prospective arena, the first stone was placed. The construction of the bullring would cost 12 million pesetas (4.5 million over budget), and it would replace the old bullring, dating from 1874.

“Las Ventas” was finished in 1929 and two years later, June 17, 1931, a charity bullfight was held with a full-capacity crowd to inaugurate it. Bullfighting stopped during the Spanish Civil War and did not resume until May 1939.

There is a Pasodoble called ‘Plaza de las Ventas’ and the composer Maestro Manuel Lillo dedicated to this arena.

 

Location

Situated in the Guindalera quarter of the district of Salamanca, it was inaugurated on June 17, 1931. It has a seating capacity of 25,000 and is regarded as the home of bullfighting in Spain.

This bullring was designed by the architect José Espeliú in the Neo-Mudéjar (Moorish) style with ceramic incrustations. The seats are situated in ten “tendidos”. The price of the seats depends upon how close they are to the arena and whether they are in the sun or the shade (the latter being more expensive). The bullfighting season starts in March and ends in October; bullfights are held every day during the San Isidro Fiesta, and every Sunday or holiday during the season. Bullfights start at 6 or 7pm and last for two to three hours.

“Las Ventas” is located in the east of Madrid.

Transports

METRO (PDF)
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Ventas Station (lines 2 and 5)

BUS LINE (Interactive MAP)
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12, 21, 38, 53, 106, 110, 146

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