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Visit Seville Bullring
The bullring or "Plaza de Toros of the Real Maestranza" in Seville is a very beautiful building and is one of the oldest in Spain. It has a beautiful Baroque facade and is painted white and golden yellow.
The bullfighting season lasts from March or April to September and the bullring can be visited for guided visits throughout the year.
Explore the Seville bullring
The current circular bullring began construction in 1749 to replace the previous rectangular ring. It seats 12000 people and the most important fights take place during the 'Seville Fair' also known as the 'April Fair' which begins two weeks after Easter. During this time many of Spain's most famous matadors will fight in the bullring.
A visit to the bullring begins with a guided walk through the museum where you can learn about the history and traditions of bullfighting in Seville. In the museum are paintings of some of the leading bullfighters in history including Juan Belmonte and Joselito El Gallo and suits worn by a 14 year old matador! There are also stuffed heads of some of the most respected bulls!
Goya fans can admire 12 prints of Fransisco de Goya's famous Tauromachy series. Many paintings, sketches and statues of bullfighting scenes can be admired in the museum.
Each year for the new bullfighting season a poster is commissioned and these can be seen displayed in the museum. You can also visit the chappel where bullfighters can pray before entering the bullfighting arena.
The ring itself is surrounded by arches and the most elaborate section is the Prince's box which is reserved for Spanish Royalty. Below it is the 'Prince's gate' through which successful bullfighters leave the ring.
It is here in Seville that bullfighting changed from a dual on horseback between the bull and the 'toreros' to a dual on foot. Seville is still considered one of the most important venues of the bullfighting year as its audiences are considered to be the most critical and most discerning.
Bullfighting remains very popular in Spain and especially in Seville despite calls for it to be banned by many younger Spanish people.
In Prosper Merimée's novel Carmen and in Bizet's opera, Carmen is stabbed to death by her husband in the Maestranza bullring. The couple met in the Tobacco factory which is now part of Seville University and is another site from 'Carmen' that you can visit.
Guided tours take place every day throughout the year. It is possible to visit for free on Monday's from 15.00-19.00 hours but expect queues.
Places to visit nearby
Fans of Carmen may wish to wander around the ancient Tobacco factory which as part of Seville University can be visited for free.
Bullring fans will also want to visit the bullring at nearby Ronda as this too is one of the oldest bullrings in Spain.