Bullfighting and bullrings have been a part of Spanish culture since time immemorial.

This is the largest bullring in Spain and the third largest bullring in the world with a capacity for 23,798 spectators and a ring 60 meters in diameter. The first two are found in Mexico and Venezuela.

The bullfighting and bullrings in Madrid

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. 

The 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 the 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.

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.

Recent bullring History

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

The architects of the Plaza de Las Ventas were José Espeliú and Manuel Muñoz Monasterio (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.

Short time 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 and after the Civil War, a bullfight was held on June 24, 1939, which they called the “Corrida de la Victoria (Victory bullfighting)”.

It has been considered since 1994 of cultural interest with the category of historical-artistic monument with neo-Mudejar style. It has a metallic structure and a brick facade with ceramic coats of arms that represent all the Spanish provinces. Since then, Las Ventas Bullring has become a unique space where bullfights are held with great figures of modern and contemporary bullfighting, rejones, heifers.

Structure, distribution and Museum

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 lines are divided into localities of high and low lines, stands and broadsides. On the upper floor is the Royal Box, to which only members of the Family and Royal House have access.

The Bullfighting Museum of Madrid is 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.

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, the apartments for months in the Retiro area and as a quieter and less touristy area you can consider the apartments for months in the Salamanca district.

For a short stay we have  apartments for days next to Calle Serrano and Paseo de la Castellana, in the Escultor Building and accommodation by category: list of apartments for companies or our list of apartments for students .          

Pretending to live in Madrid?

If you are a Madrid passionate considering to invest in Madrid visit or Golden Visa page to obtain a permanent residence in Spain.