The historic bullring of Seville was built in the eighteenth century. The arena, which has a seating capacity of about 12,500 is one of the most famous bullrings in all of Spain.
Originally, bullfights were held at the Plaza de San Francisco, a historic square near the city hall of Seville.
The first wooden, temporary arena was built in 1730 near the current location of the Plaza de Toros. The arena had a rectangular shape which was an advantage for the bulls, who could retreat in a corner. It was considered unsafe for the bullfighters and in 1933 the structure was replaced by a circular arena, also in wood.
In 1761 it was decided to erect a permanent venue at the site of a flea market. The magnificent bullring we see today was designed by Vicente San Martín, who created an elegant structure in a typical regional style. It would take more than a century before the arena was finally completed in 1881. Today it can host some 12,500 spectators.
Visiting the bullring
Even if you dislike bullfighting, the Plaza de Toros de Maestranza is worth a visit if only for its historic architecture. Guided tours lead you through the arcaded arena via the small chapel – where bullfighters pray they will not be impaled by a bull’s horn – and the stables, where you’ll see the horses of the picadores (horsemen who jab a bull with a lance).
Also part of the Plaza de Toros is the Museum of the History of Bullfights, where paintings, costumes and other artifacts regarding the great toreros are displayed.
Statue of Curro Romero
At the foot of the bullring is a statue of Francisco Romero López, better known as Curro Romero, a famous torero from Seville who was active from the 1950s until the late 1990s.