Bullring of the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla: a very long official name, which already suggests the prestige and historical value of one of the most beautiful bullfighting arenas in the world.
Inside the Plaza de Toros in Seville, the oldest Spanish bullring, many of the most important bullfighters in the history of bullfighting have either made their debut or ended their careers. Even today it is a prestige for the stars of bullfighting to perform at least once at the Real Maestranza.
For bullfighting fans the Seville bullring is a sacred place. The level of passion and reverence with which the shows are followed is in no way inferior to that of the most passionate football fans, but is expressed in a completely different way.
No choir, but a respectful silence: the Plaza de Toros in Seville is famous for the legendary "Silences of La Maestranza”, A total silence observed to follow the deeds of the matadors.
Enter this historic arena to admire its extraordinary architectural beauty and for a moment try to imagine 14,000 spectators speechless, as if in a trance, in front of the magnetic charm of the show unfolding before their eyes.
Whether you are for or against bullfighting, the Plaza de Toros in Seville is an important historical attraction that deserves to be included in the list of things to see in Seville.
The bullring of Seville
The Plaza de Toros in Seville is an unmistakable building in the urban landscape of Seville, with a characteristic oval shape and a magnificent facade in late Spanish Baroque style in white and ocher yellow. Arches, marble balustrades, sculptures make this building even more spectacular, which for its elegance and prestige has nothing to envy to a sumptuous castle.
During the visit, in addition to the iconic arena, you will be able to see other symbolic places of the bullfighting ritual, including some not accessible to spectators during the events:
- Prince's Gate: from here enter the best bullfighters, acclaimed by the crowd
- Nursing: first aid is given to injured bullfighters here
- Chapel: a small chapel where the bullfighter prays before going out into the arena
You will also be able to see the stables where the horses of the picadors are kept, the knights who prepare the bull so that the bullfighter can face it in the later stages of the bullfight. They are fundamental figures in the rite of bullfighting, on a par with the matador: their importance is demonstrated by the fact that the picadors wear costumes decorated in gold, just like the bullfighters.
The most exciting moment of the visit, however, remains the one in which you can freely move on the sand field of thearena, right where the deadly fights between men and bulls take place. In case of rain, you can watch it from the indoor seats.
The visits take place with an audio guide, available in nine languages.
The Bullfighting Museum
The entrance ticket to the Plaza de Toros in Seville also includes the visit to the Bullfighting Museum, a fascinating historical excursus into one of the most typically Spanish traditions.
You will not see a drop of blood inside the museum, so we also recommend a visit to convinced animal rights activists. Bullfighting art is an essential element of Spanish culture and even if you are against bullfighting for ethical reasons, visiting this museum is an experience that will make you know more about the country you are visiting.
Through historical documents, photographs, memorabilia, stage costumes, personal items of the bullfighters and characters who have made the bullfighting history the museum will make you understand how this tradition has taken root over the centuries to become one of the most followed and at the same time discussed popular traditions in the world today.
The museum also includes a large collection of bullfighting prints, lithographs and paintings from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries by important Spanish and international artists.
The flagship of the Museo Taurino art collection are the 12 prints from the "Tauromaquia" series signed by Francisco de Goya, including the one depicting the death of the historic bullfighter Pepe-Hillo.
Practical information for visiting the Plaza de Toros in Seville
The Plaza de Toros in Seville is open all year round, with the exception of Christmas Day. L'opening hours it is 9:30 am while closing varies between 19:00 pm and 21:00 pm depending on the season.
On bullfighting days and on Good Friday, visits end at 15.00pm. The Plaza de Toros can be closed for special events.
On Mondays from 15:00 to 19:00 admission is free.
Like seeing a bullfight in Seville
Attending a bullfight it is a personal choice: some people find it fascinating and highly emotional, for others it is a gory and shocking spectacle.
Whatever your opinion on the matter, if you are curious to see a bullfight, the Plaza de Toros in Seville is certainly one of the best places. You cannot fail to feel the aura of sacredness that pervades this place and that makes the spectacle of bullfighting something absolutely essential for many Spaniards. Then you will decide if it is for you or not.
La taurine season starts on Easter Sunday and ends in October. Shows are generally held on Sundays in the late afternoon, starting at 18:30 pm.
The most famous bullfighters perform in the first part of the season and during the entire week of the Feria de Abril. These shows are highly coveted by the public and fans buy subscription tickets, so there are generally few tickets on sale for the single event.
To grab a ticket for the most famous bullfighters you have to move well in advance. If, on the other hand, you are not interested in a particular name, you can attend the novilleras, shows in which a young bullfighter and a young bull compete against each other. They cost less and it is easier to find tickets.
I prices of a bullfight vary from about ten euros to more than 150,00 depending on the prestige of the event and the places. If you travel in the warmer months, we strongly advise you to buy seats in the shade: they are more expensive, but you will be happy to have spent a little more so as not to spend hours under the scorching sun (remember that in summer the temperatures in Seville can reach even 50 ° degrees!).
I tickets for the bullfighting show they can be purchased at the box office of the arena two hours before the start of the show or at authorized sales agencies.
How to get to the Plaza de Toros in Seville
The Plaza de Toros of Seville is located in the neighborhood El Arenal, one of the most characteristic of the Casco Antiguo, the historic area of the city. It is not far from other important tourist attractions: you can reach it on foot from the Cathedral in just 8 minutes.
If you travel around the city by public transport you can choose whether to get to the Plaza de Toros by taking the bus, the tram or the metro.
La Metro stop the closest is Puerta de Jerez, served by the L1 line. It's about an 11 minute walk. Closer is the tram stop T1 at Plaza Nueva (about 5 minutes on foot), while the bus stop the closest is only 100 meters away.
A bit of history
The oldest bullring in Spain was built in eighteenth century by the will of the Real Maestranza of Seville, which brought together the most illustrious families of the city. The original project had a rectangular shape, but was soon abandoned because it was considered too dangerous and the oval shape was opted for.
The official end date of the works is 1881: upon completion of the work, two thirds of the building was in stone and one third in wood. The last restoration was completed in 2011.
In addition to bullfights, the Plaza de Toros is used for various events within the April Fair, the most important traditional festival in the city of Seville, lived with passion and enthusiasm by all citizens.