Madrid,the bulls of San Isidro

Hi y’all ,on a nice sunny warm Sunday I would like to tell you about a forthcoming event in Madrid that is tops. The Feria de San Isidro, honors the city patron saint, with many activities not the least the corridas at Las Ventas Monumental plaza.

In my youth I lived not far from there, at Alcala Street, and was a regular to all of them, even did some tries at rajonero, the man in the horse,but was too young and not enough time to pursue it, plus my Mom was afraid….Metro lines 2 and 5 runs by it, and it is just next to the M-30 road, (I lived even past it on Alcala) a bit on line 5.  Now I go several times a year,and it is always like the first, awesome ::)

The area is full of color, local ones, not too many tourist as they only if at all visit the plaza and leave. So much to soak in the real Madrileño spirit, and Spanish, to know the real Spain. This is my small five cents worth on it,hope you like it.

First of all, the Feria is already named of community interest meaning its part of the culture, and protected by government laws.  The conduit of the Feria and the participation of the bulls have rules established from the 18C very precise to avoid what some today might call animal abuse. However, the animal is the best protected of them all!!!  This is a favorite pastime in Spain dating back to the 15C, and Madrid has the most event of any region with about 16% according to El Mundo newspager Spanish article; The Madrid area counts with 90 bulls of Lidia race ranches  that accounts for 8.5% of the total in Spain with 14000 hectares or about 34580 acres. The locaties in the community of Madrid with the most activities are  Colmenar Viejo, El Escorial, Guadalix de la Sierra, Aranjuez ,and  Soto del Real. The webpage in Spanish

A bit about San Isidro, he was born in Madrid in 1082AD and died there in 1172AD, tradition tells us that San Isidro made a spring gush out water while ploughing the land, at the same spot, a  chapel was built ordered by Empress Isabel in 1528AD, after Prince Felipe drank water from the well and was cure. Later , Baltasar de Zúñiga, Marquess of Valero, built the current day hermitage, with a single nave and a dome. San Isidro was canonized in 1622 AD by Pope Gregory XV, at the same time as Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila, and Philip Neri. In 1811 the Sacramental Cemetery San Isidro was built on the apse, the cementary is located at paseo Ermita del Santo, 78 in Carabanchel just across river manzanares from the Vicente Calderon Stadium, nearest metro is at Marques de Vadillo,line 5. city of Madrid info in Spanish,

On May 15 the patron’s day, at the La Pradera de San Isidro (or san isidro meadows) a pilgrimage is done which dates back to shortly after the death of the Saint. By noon, the Royal Collegiate Church of San Isidro host the Grand Mass ,after the Eucharist the bishop of Madrid makes his way to the meadow,and blessed the water from the well.  In the afternoon, the image of San Isidro and his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza (also, a Saint) , are paraded through the streets, from Calle del Sacramento to the Plaza de la Villa, via Calle del Cordon. Nowdays the procession is change a bit as from the 19C on many buildings are done by the river Manzanares, and today there is the project Rio Madrid with more construction. The pilgrims would leave the city via Cuesta de la Vega and Calle de Segovia singing and praying along the way.  On arrival at the chapel, they would attend mass and kiss the remains of the saint, contained in an 18th century shrine. They would then drink water from the spring as tradition still holds true today.

You can then visit the Museum or Museo of San Isidro, popularly known as the Casa de San Isidro or house of San Isidro; located at Plaza de San Andrés, 2; Telephone:+34  91 366 74 15, metro Latina,line 5 or Tirso de Molina ,line 1. Tradition has it that this was the house of the Vargas, gentlemen of San Isidro, and the saint lived and died here. The building was constructed in the 16C, and you can see the original water well there. The webpage in Spanish at Madrid city site with contact info page first,

To visit the Church or Basilica of San Isidro, also, known as La Colegiata from its early days as part of a Jesuit college — acted as a substitute cathedral from 1885 until the completion of the Almudena. Designed in the style of the Gesu in Rome, and built in the 17C, it shelters the remains of Saint San Isidro and his wife, Saint, Santa María de la Cabeza. Located at Calle Toledo,37, same metro connection as museum Latina or Tirso de Molina.

Then, we move to the bulls, the Monumental at Las Ventas is Spain most important bull ring (with some contest from Maestranza in Sevilla), built in 1931  for 25 000 spectator capacity of mudejar moorish architecture. Located at Calle Alcala, 237 metro Ventas line 5; there is a small museum in the back very interesting history of bullfighting. Museo Taurino is the name.  Las Ventas webpage

The first corrida for the Feria of San Isidro took place on May 15,1947.  The official festivities this year runs from  May 12, 2011 to May 16, 2011 , for the religious events as the bulls run a bit more. The tickets are already on sale at the above link at Las Ventas, and the line up is this big ,its a big nice event, starting from May 10 (10 de mayo) ,and then the bulls ranch it comes from, and the bullfighters who will participte at the feria or fair.
Día 10 de mayo: toros de Valdefresno para Juan Bautista, Matías Tejela y Daniel Luque
Día 11 de mayo: toros de El Vellosino para Uceda leal, Miguel Abellán y Rubén Pinar
Día 12 de mayo: toros de José Escolar para Rafaelillo, Fernando Robleño y Alberto Aguilar
Día 13 de mayo: toros de Juan Pedro Domecq para Uceda Leal, Juan Bautista y Morenito de Aranda
Día 14 de mayo: toros de Montecillo para Curro Díaz, Leandro y Miguel Tendero
Día 15 de mayo: toros de Núñez del Cuvillo para Morante de la Puebla, Alejandro Talavante y Arturo Saldivar que confirmará la alternativa
Día 16 de mayo: novillos de Flor de Jara para Manuel Larios, Jiménez Fortes y Victor Barrio
Día 17 de mayo: toros de El Ventorrillo para El Cid, Miguel Ángel Perera y Alejandro Talavante
Día 18 de mayo: toros de Núñez del Cuvillo para El Juli, Sebastián Castella y José María Manzanares
Día 19 de mayo: toros del Puerto de San Lorenzo parta El Cid, Miguiel Ángel Perera y Daniel Luque
Día 20 de mayo: toros de Garcigrande para Sebastián Castella, Jose María Manzanares y Alejandro Talavante
Día 21 de mayo: toros Carmen Lorenzo para Fermín Bohórquez, Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza y Diego Ventura
Día 22 de mayo: toros del Partido de Resina para Ignacio Garibay Serafín Marín y Sergio Aguilar
Día 23 de mayo: novillos de Montealto para Thomas Duffau, Sergio Flores y López Simón
Día 24 de mayo: toros de Román Sorando para Juan Mora, José María Manzanares y Cayetano
Día 25 de mayo: toros de Alcurrucén para Sebastián Castella, Miguel Ángel Perera y Joselito Adame que confirmará la alternativa
Día 26 de mayo: toros de El Cortijillo para Diego Urdiales, Morenito de Aranda y Miguel Tendero
Día 27 de mayo: toros de Las Ramblas para Curro Díaz, El Cid y El Fandi
Día 28 de mayo: toros de Luis Terrón para Sergio Galán, Leonardo Hernández y Moura Caetano
Día 29 de mayo: toros de Samuel Flores para Juan José Padilla, Antonio Ferrera y César Jiménez
Día 30 de mayo: novillos de El Ventorrillo para Diego Silveti, Víctor Barrio y Rafael Cerro
Día 31 de mayo: toros de Peñajara para Eugenio de Mora, César Jiménez y Javier Cortés
Día 1 de junio: toros de Palha para David Mora, Luis Bolívar y Salvador Cortés
Día 2 de junio: toros de Cuadri para El Fundi, Iván Fandiño y Alberto Aguilar
Día 5 de junio: toros de Los Espartales para Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, Andy Cartagena y Leonardo Hernández

Another great site to show corridas for San Isidro and all over the bull plazas world is MundoToro, here , as well as one FeriaTv with videos, . Another site for buying tickets to corridas is Localidades Galicia, here,

There is plenty of lodgings in the area and better prices than central Madrid ,The nice chain Rafaelhotels has one at right there ,webpage , and the NH alcala at , when back with my large family, I have opted for apartment Ramon de la Cruz, cant go wrong here, great service always, webpage , and of course there are other farther away and have family nearby so if alone or a couple I dont need to rent.

For eating , you are in for plenty in the area, my all times favorite that come back everytime with some old friends are Docamar, an institution by metro Quintana line 5 just two stops after Ventas and across from where I used to lived; their webpage with delicious tapas and seafood is at , and the torero loaded Los Timbales, calle alcala 227,near Ventas and there since 1929, the deco and food is sublime, with the best rabo de toro in Madrid, bull tails stew::) no web tel +34 917 25 07 68. And if like me sometimes with kids, go for the ice cream ,very good, and 60 flavors, at Heladeria de Sandra,,Calle Alcala 182,no web just in before Ventas coming from central Madrid, metro ventas line 5.  And, could not go with one more ,Como en Casa, calle Ricardo Ortiz,24, metro Carmen, the one after ventas and before quintana in line 5.just walk Alcala towards the arena once out of the metro Carmen line 5, then turn left on  Daroca ,then right on Ricardo Ortiz.  Great prices, good tapas and nice draft beers.

The tourisf office for Madrid is ,and the community of Madrid (regional) is at

Enjoy San Isidro like a true local of Madrid! Cheers!

2 Comments to “Madrid,the bulls of San Isidro”

  1. He querido publicar algo como esto en mi sitio web y esto me dio una idea. Saludos.


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