Bullrings

Bullrings

The Plaza de Toros de la Merced (bullring) was built from 1901-1902 and commissioned by architect, Trinidad Gallego Díaz, who was inspired by the bullring in Madrid, known as "the one on Calle Aragon".

Bullfighting is a subject which divides people like no other; you either love it or hate it; you're an aficionado, with your preferred matadores, who can discuss technique and arte; or you can't take the blood. It's about drama and colour of the spectacle; the passion of the audience; and the courage and skill of the man (nearly always; Almodovar's female matador was the exception) himself.

Bullfighting as we know it today, started in the village squares, and became formalised, with the building of the bullring in Ronda in the late 18th century. From that time, it began to follow a particular sequence of events: the entrance of the bull, the picador, the banderilleros, and finally the matador (bullfighter). Many of the picadors' horses were injured in the early days, so these heavy horses now wear protection.

Pedro Romero did not "invent" bullfighting. The origins of Andalucía's strange, compelling ritual are lost in time, and are almost certainly rooted in some forgotten rite of passage of the shadowy, mysterious Celtiberians who peopled the peninsula centuries before the coming of the Romans.