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Spain Travel Guide

Bullfighting in Spain

Bullfighting in Spain, southern France, Portugal and several Latin American countries is an ancient custom and a traditional spectacle; some people consider it as a sport of skill and bravery and others as a barbarian, inhumane and brutal ritual of animal abuse. Bullfighting is known as the "Fiesta Nacional" (national festival); it's celebrated more in some parts of Spain than others.The most enthusiastic fans are in the central and south parts of Spain. San Fermin festival is the most famous single bullfighting throughout Spain, bulls run free around the streets of San Fermin while Spaniards try to avoid them to not be injured.

The origins of Bullfighting can be traced back to ancient Rome, but it was the Moors who introduced it to Spain, these fights may have derived from the Roman Circus through the Visigoths who conquered Roman Spain before the coming of the Mohammedans. The Moors held bullfights in the half-ruined Roman amphitheaters in Toledo, Merida, Tarragona, Cordoba and other places. There were regular bullfights after the Christian conquerors of Spain made Moors come back to Africa. Nowadays, Spanish cities have adopted bullfighting as a traditional festival.

One can find many "Plaza de toros" (bullfighting rings) around Spanish cities, the twin meccas of the fiesta are the Real Maestranza in Seville and the Plaza de la Venta in Madrid; however, most bullrings of Andalucía are very popular among admirers of this practice. The bullfighting season begins on March and ends on October, although it varies from one city to another, bullfights usually happen during the celebration of the town's local patron saint.

The matador is usually a man although there are also few women bull fighters, the matador wears a traditional suit that allows him to move with grace and flair, while displaying courage and skill to face the bull in the ring. Bullfighting consists of six brave bulls and three matadors; each matador must face two bulls, each of them selected by a combination of intelligence, strength, vigor and aggressiveness. They must weigh over 900 pounds and be over four years old.

Bullfighting is a very popular tradition in several countries, despite the existence of many international organizations that want to forbid its practice for considering them as a brutal ritual where the bull always loses. Bullfights are usually on Sundays and travelers can get a ticket to see it on the bull rings.

"Corrida de toros"

Bullfighting "corrida de toros" is a traditional spectacle of Spain, in which many bulls are baited in a bullring for sport and entertainment.
see more: The Corrida

Feria de Otoño: Bull Fighting in October

Grand in its history and prized traditions, Feria de Otoño is a festival that marks the end of the bullfighting season in Spain each year. Held in the first week of October, it is a permanent highlight on the calendar for many novice and veteran bullfighters.

Feria de Otoño is staged at the impressive Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas in Madrid. Established in the 1930s, the bullring of Las Ventas has become an integral location for bullfighting in Spain. Seating over 20,000 spectators, the venue hosts the greatest bullfights that are scheduled in Spain's largest city, and is also the site of the Madrid Museum of Bullfighting.

Spain's Bullfighting Capital

As Spain's capital, Madrid offers residents and visitors a cultural experience that is swiftly spurred on by adrenalin and bold artistry. Witnessing the dramatic end to a bull's life or the articulate gestures of a matador with red cape swirling, Feria de Otoño has many colourful and courageous moments.

Potentially facing their own mortality, deciding to be a bullfighter is not a career for the faint-hearted. Long-horned and powerful, the bulls or toros chosen for Feria de Otoño are formidable beasts, each weighing close to 500 kg.

The Marvels of Madrid

Choosing to travel to this year's Feria de Otoño? Then expect considerable savings when searching for flights to Spain. Comparison sites such as Momondo offer some of the cheapest flights you will find on the Internet. Thus, providing you with affordable airfares when planning a personal trip to see the best bullfighting in Madrid.

The sprawling city of Madrid is a marvel unto itself. A popular destination to visit at any time and in any season, there are elegant streets lined with old heritage buildings and scenic views across the Manzanares River. Aside from wandering spacious, green parks, there are museums and world-class art collections to stop and admire.

Madrid rarely offers a dull moment, especially when Feria de Otoño begins. With brave matadors dressed in magnificently embroidered attire, pageantry and style coincide with the age-old customs of bullfighting. Like flamenco, bullfighting is intrinsic to the fire and soul of Spanish culture. To watch, or even to fight, a bull to the death sometimes only occurs once in a lifetime.

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