Festivals - Ronda's Feria Goyesca

Ronda's Feria Goyesca is pure pageantry © Michelle Chaplow
Ronda's Feria Goyesca is pure pageantry.

Part I | Part II

Feria de Pedro Romero

Feria de Pedro Romero Dates 2018


28 August - 2 September 2018

(Confirmed by the Town Hall) 

The 'Feria de Pedro Romero' is traditionally the first week in September. The core activities traditionally start in the evening of Wednesday with a parade about 19.30 hrs. The highlight of the week is the 'Corrida Goyesca' bullfight which will take place on Saturday at about 17.30 hrs.

Ronda Feria Goyesqua


By Owen Thomas and Brenda Padilla

Ronda is an ancient mountain town of scenic vistas, omantic plazas, and historic treasures. Once a year, Ronda also sees a return to tradition with its annual Feria Goyesca. A fairly recent festival, at least in Andalucian terms, it has become an event that has captured the imagination of Spain with its traditional dress, important bullfights and its ageless glamour.

The Feria Goyesca (properly called the Feria de Pedro Romero) stems from the inter-relationship of three main personae which spanned over three centuries, all with strong connections to Ronda. They are the famous 18th century bullfighter, Pedro Romero; the extremely influential 18th century Spanish painter, Francisco de la Goya; and finally, the great 20th century bullfighter, Antoñio Ordóñez, to whom the vision of the Ronda's modern Feria Goyesca can be attributed.

 

 

Ronda is well-known as the home of the modern corrida or bullfight. The father of this style was Francisco Romero, the patriarch of the mythical Romero family of Ronda. Before Francisco, bullfighting was an activity normally fought from the back of a horse in what was known as the "Jerez style" of bullfighting and although it was an interesting spectacle, it was not what we would normally call bullfighting today.

© Will Eaton.

Ronda and bulls had become inextricably linked from a much earlier time when, in 1572, King Philip II created the Real Maestranza de Caballería (the Royal Calvary Order) of Ronda which was to promote the proper military training of noblemen in the area. This training included horsemanship, athletics, and the spearing of bulls from horseback.

This preparative training for war carried over to times of peace and in this way, the seeds of modern bullfighting were sown in this small, mountain town. Due to the innovations of Francisco Romero, the spectacle evolved into confronting the bull, not on horseback but on foot. This newer, exciting style of fighting spread rapidly across Spain as the importance of bullfighting also increased throughout the peninsula.

Bullfighter in dress from the Goya period © Michelle Chaplow
Bullfighter in dress from the Goya period

The greatest fighter of the Romero dynasty was Francisco's grandson, Pedro. Pedro is reported to have dispatched over 6000 bulls during his lifetime, all without receiving a single cornada (goring). He also fought his last fight in Madrid, killing a number of bulls at the age of 80.

Pedro Romero's fame coincided with the time that the painter, Francisco de la Goya was also at the peak of his creative best. Goya, the famous artist and the court painter to Spanish King Carlos IV, was also a keen observer of traditional Spanish culture. In fact, Goya painted the most famous portrait of Pedro Romero and is said to have even designed some of his most stylish fighting costumes.   Continued >

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