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Las Ventas bullring

The Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is a famous bullring in Madrid (Spain).

Situated in the barrio of Guindalera in the district of Salamanca, it was inaugurated on June 17, 1931. It has a seating capacity of 25,000 and is regarded as the home of bullfighting in Spain.

This bullring was designed by an architect called Espeliú. Its style is Neo-Mudéjar (Moorish) with pottery incrustations. The seats are situated in 10 "tendidos". The price of the seats depends upon how close they are to the "arena" and whether they are in the sun or the shade (the latter being more expensive). The bullfighting season starts in March and ends in December; bullfights are held every day during the San Isidro Fiesta, and every Sunday or holiday during the season. Bullfights start at 6 or 7pm and last for two to three hours.

"Las Ventas" is located in the east of Madrid. It is recommended to use the Metro de Madrid (Las Ventas station is on lines 2 and 5), or any of the city buses which stop next to the bullring.

History

The arena of Las Ventas is about 65 meters in diameter. It is one of the world's widest rings.

From 1913 to 1920, the national celebration (bullfighting) gained such an important status that Madrid's former main bullring in Carretera de Aragon was not big enough. It was José Gómez Ortega "Joselito" who declared that a new "monumental" bullring had to be built, to open this piece of heritage and culture to the whole city of Madrid. His friend and architect José Espeliu began to work on the project.

A family called Jardón gave the land to the Deputy of Madrid, provided that they could run the arena for fifty years. The deputation accepted the proposal on November 12, 1920. On March 19, 1922, in the exact center of the prospective arena, the first stone was placed. The construction of the bullring would cost 12 million pesetas (4.5 million over budget), and it would replace the old bullring, dating from 1874.

"Las Ventas" was finished in 1929 and two years later, June 17, 1931, a charity bullfight was held with a full capacity crowd to inaugurate it. Bullfighting stopped during the Spanish Civil War and did not resume until May 1939.

In 1996, Australian rock band AC/DC performed at the Las Ventas for their Ballbreaker World Tour. They recorded the performance on DVD for the concert video, "AC/DC: No Bull", as a reference to the fact they were playing at a bullfighting arena, with no bull present.

In 2008, it was converted into an tennis clay court and the Spanish Davis Cup Team, lead by the rampant Rafael Nadal played their semifinal against the United States, and won it in front of their home crowd.

Situation

View of the bullring from Calle de Alcalá (street).

"Las Ventas" is divided in a ring or "arena", and a group of zones called "patios". Its architecture is mudejar, with pottery representations of the heraldic crests of the different Spanish provinces on them. The "arena" has a diameter of 60 meters. The seating capacity is divided into 10 "tendidos" (group of 27 rows around the "arena"), some of them in the shade and the rest in the sun. The prices of the tickets are more expensive in the shade and in the rows which are nearer to the "arena" or crowned by bleachers, gradins, boxes and covered grandstands.

The president of the 'corrida' sits in the 10th Tendido. The Royal Box is of outstanding design, with its arabesque architecture [mudejar], a complete bathroom and a lift. Opposite to the Royal Box, in the covered grandstand roof, is the clock. The bullring has five gates, plus three more called "toriles", from where the bulls enter the arena. The door of "cuadrillas", between "tendidos" 3 and 4, has access to the horse yard. In this door, the "paseillo" starts and the "picadores"(those who punish the bull with the lance) come out from here to the arena ("suerte de varas"). The dragging door, that leads to the skinning room, is between "tendidos" 1 and 2. The famous "Puerta Grande" (Big Door), also called the Door of Madrid, is between "tendidos" 7 and 8. Going out through this door, especially during the Fiesta of San Isidro, is every bullfighter's ambition. There is also a chapel and a small sick bay with two operating rooms.

External links

Coordinates: 40°25′55.5″N 3°39′47.8″W / 40.432083°N 3.663278°W / 40.432083; -3.663278

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Simple English

The Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is a building in Madrid, Spain used mainly for bullfighting. Sometimes it is just called Las Ventas. It is made of red brick and ceramic tiles. It was built in 1929 by José Espelious and Muñoz Monasterio. The first bullfight was June 17, 1931. It is also used for concerts.

Most fights start at 7 p.m. when the sun is not too hot. Tickets are sold for 'sol' or 'sombra'. The 'sombra' tickets for seats not in the sunlight cost more.



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