Las Ventas

Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is an iconic bullring inaugurated in 1931, considered the home of bullfighting in Spain.

TravelCurious Tip

Tickets for the most anticipated bullfights during the San Isidro festival can sell out almost immediately, so be prepared to queue at the stadium! Prices vary widely according to the prestige of the matador, and whether you're sat in sun (sol) or shade (sombra).

No bull

Bullfighting is an integral part of Spanish culture. Around 100 years ago during the 'Golden Age' of 1913 to 1920, its popularity reached fever pitch: the Carretera de Aragón, Madrid's former main stadium for the spectacle, could no longer hold enough spectators. The star matador Joselito declared the need for a new monumental bullring, and construction began in 1922 on the site of the old Carretera. The first bullfight was held here in 1931, before a hiatus in the sport that lasted the duration of the Civil War.

Sharing many design features with an amphitheatre, the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas was built in Neo-Mudéjar style, decorated with the ceramic crests of different Spanish provinces. Its ten tendidos - groups of rowed seating, priced according to their distance from the action and whether they're in sun or shade - surround an arena 60 metres in diameter, one of the world's widest. The bullring seats just under 24,000 people.

The Cathedral of the Winds

The corrida's president sits in a royal box in the tenth tendido, which is outstanding in its Mudéjar design, and fitted out with a lift and bathroom. There are five gates to the arena, including one for the horses and one for dragging a defeated bull to the skinning room, plus three toriles from where the bulls emerge. The famous Puerta Grande is the entrance through which every matador aspires to walk, especially during the San Isidro Fiesta in May, when bullfights are held for 24 consecutive afternoons among a range of traditional Madrilenian entertainments. During the rest of the March to October season, fights are held every Sunday or public holiday.

In its time Las Ventas has also hosted concerts and theatrical performances, and acted as a clay tennis court for the Davis Cup team in 2008. If you're not here for a bullfight or any of the above, tours operate of the workings of this magnificent stadium: you can walk like a matador through the Puerta Grande, tread the sands of the arena and admire the architecture of the tendidos.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Madrid
Puerta Grande
Exiting the arena through the Triumph Gate is the highest honour a bullfighter can hope for.
Las Ventas Terraces and Stands
The bullring's amazing Neo-Mudéjar seating can hold up to 25,000 spectators.
Las Ventas Arena
The arena of the bullring is where all the action takes place; at 60 metres in diameter it's one the widest in the world.
Puerta de Cuadrillas
Giving access to the horse yard, this is the starting point for all bullfights in Las Ventas.
Puerta de Toriles
Where the bull enters the ring; there are three of these gates around the arena.
Puerta de Arrastre
If the bullfighter comes out of top, the bull is traditionally dragged through this gate before being prepared for a victory feast.

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