The title of doctor in bullfighting is granted in a ceremony called “the alternative” (authorization for a novillero to be considered a bullfighter). “The alternative” in Spain is only granted in this square. 

Bullfighting in Madrid

First bullring was set up in 1737, next to the mouth of the Manzanares River. Its structure was made of wood and was circular in shape.

The next one was built in 1749, being the first permanent bullring.
It was built at the request of King Fernando VI, and its architects were Juan Bautista Sachetti, Ventura Rodríguez, and Fernando Moradillo.

In the year 1860, the city began its expansion due to the increase in its population.
It is for this reason that the engineer and architect Carlos María de Castro proposed to relocate the bullring behind the
 Retiro Park.

Later, in the current location of the Palacio de Deportes, a new plaza with a capacity for 12,000 spectators was begun in 1872.
It would serve as a reference for the construction of most of the Spanish squares until its closure.

Entrada Plaza de toros de las Ventas, Madrid

Recent bullring History

The arena began to be built during the dictatorship of General Pinto de Rivera and culminated in the Second Republic.

José Espeliú and Manuel Muñoz Monasterio were the architects and also responsible for designing the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. The idea of ​​​​building this bullring was born from the bullfighter José Gómez.

The first bullfight in Las Ventas was held on June 17, 1931, in order to raise funds for unemployed workers.
Recognized bullfighters such as Marcial Lalanda and the Mexican Fermín Espinosa participated in the bullfight.

Furthermore, shortly after and during the Civil War, part of its facilities were destroyed, and it was used as a prison, an arsenal of weapons, and to keep animals.

Monumento en la Plaza de toros de las Ventas, Madrid

Structure, distribution and Museum

With a neo-Mudejar style (arab-based), it has a metallic structure and a brick facade with ceramic coats of arms that represent all the Spanish provinces.
It has also become a unique space where bullfights are held with great figures in modern and contemporary bullfighting.

In addition, the square has 4 floors, and its circular galleries are distributed in 10 layouts that are grouped into 3 zones:

  • Shadow areas: lines 9, 10, 1 and 2
  • Sun zone: lines 4, 5, 6 and 7
  • Sun and shadow area: lines 3 and 8

The Bullfighting Museum

Inside the Plaza, in addition to a chapel, the bullfighters’ room, the corrals, the infirmary, the slaughterhouse, and the offices of the Center for Bullfighting Affairs of the Community of Madrid, you can find the museum.

Other plans to do in Madrid 

There are not many tourist places near the Plaza de Las Ventas, but you might be interested in this plan to visit Madrid in 1 day or these tips for your first visit to Madrid.

Our accommodations in Madrid

In this area, we have apartments for months in the Centro area, and Apartments in Retiro.
Also, we have short term apartments next to Calle Serrano and Paseo de la Castellana.