The bulls and Ventas, what about them?

And here I am again updating and revising my older posts. I have a newer post on this one with pictures but as the first post will leave in my black and white series. This is an icon of Madrid and I lived walking distance from it, as visit at least by it every time in the city. Hope you enjoy the post and understand it.

I will speak about perhaps a controversial issue, not fully understood or traditions gone out the window in our current world. The bulls corridas and especially those at the Monumental de Ventas in Madrid. This is a great tradition with bulls that are giving the best care and up bringing in the world today, they are pampered.

The plaza of Ventas opened in 1931 with a capacity for 23 798 persons, and a neo mudéjar architecture;  been the biggest in Spain for the size and the fame. The plaza is composed of a main bullring  diameter measuring 60 meters , and the callejon or alley of 2,20 meters.  The resting place of the bulls is divided into three sections. the left gate are where the first three bulls come out and the two replacements if needed .The Central gate where they come in and out the cabestros or bell ax  and the right gate where come out the last three bulls.

The arena belongs to the neighborhood of  Guindelera in the district of  Salamanca. The metro line 2 and 5 Ventas is right in front. Even thus the bullring is name Ventas and the neighborhood with same name is just across the beltway bridge under passes the M 30 road. It is also, in the district of Ciudad Lineal! 

A bit of history I like.

Upon request of king Felipe IV ,the count of Olivares built an arena in 1630 at the site of Buen Retiro (Retiro park)  to give replacement to the Plaza Mayor where many corridas were held. Another arena was built in 1737 on the location of Soto de Luzon. Later, king Felipe V ordered built another arena that give  management to the  Sala de Alcaldes de la Casa y Corte in 1743; this is the Puerta de Alcalà arena. On the same spot ,king Fernando VI ordered built another arena that gives the hospitals the management of it! It was in 1875, near Calle Aragon ( now part of the calle de Alcalà) that another arena was built under the name of Las Ventas , the name that today we know as the Monumental de Ventas.

During the Spanich Civil War between 1936-1939 the arena was closed and open again in May 1939. The first bull to participate in the arena was called Hortelano, and the bullfighter name was Aguililla (little eagle). The arena is used as a concert hall events as well. Best to see the stables of the horses, the bulls resting barns, the Arena itself of course, the Big gate or Puerta Grande, the stands, and the statue dedicated to El Cordobés outside facing Calle de Alcalà.

Things to see, do and eat around it my favorites of course.

There is ,also, a fine museum about the art call Museo Taurino with interesting objects and architecture that will bring many even if no interest to the corridas; the museum is in the back of the Monumental , you walk around it. It, also has a chapel devoted to the Virgen de Guadalupe and to the Virgen de la Paloma, patrons of Mexico and Madrid, respectively. The museum webpage:

The Festival or feast of San Isidro is enormous and a must see at least once in  your life. In 2018 there will be a corrida internacional, with bulls from different countries so far accepting are : Juan Bautista (France), Juan del Álamo (Spain), Luis David Adame (México), Joaquín Galdós (Perú), Jesús Enrique Colombo (Venezuela), and maybe Luis Bolívar (Colombia) , and the horse swordmen  Joao Moura(Portugal). All of San Isidro is this year from May 11-15. See next feast when possible at official webpage:

My recollection as a young boy in Madrid was been taken at Las Ventas to see the rajoneros or the men on horse poking the bulls and taken into the arena itself. I lived not far from here in Quintana, two metro /subway stops. It was the boys hangout in another era.

One area where my Mom shopped was at the now call Mercado de las Ventas  (before the Canillas) almost across from the back of Monumental de Ventas. webpage:

Down the street straight out of Las Ventas you come to the Tablao Flamenco La Quimera, Calle Sancho Davila, 34. webpage:

Continue down the above street to reach the wonderful park of  Quinta de la Fuente del Berros.  Out of Arena turn right towards Plaza Manuel Becerro and see the Eva Duarte de Peron park at Calle del Dr Goméz Ulla, the park makes like a triangle in the square.  Out of the arena left and you pass the beltway M-30 Avenida de la Paz and you are in Calle de Alcalà , metro stop Carmen and then Quintana on line 5 and you are in my old neighborhood

To eat around the Arena, you have the Casa Toribio restaurant very nice food and great prices. Here they serve rabo de toro de Liria, the lidia bulls oxtail stew, omg delicious, my favorite. webpage:

Another nice one across is Los Clarines Restaurant, here they have smaller versions call raciones and the same bull oxtails stew, love it. webpage:

Another good one over the years is Quinta la Candela, Calle Julio Camba, 5 ; for those bellota hams delights. Facebook page:

And at Calle de Alcalà 227 you have a masterpiece of bullfights history and tradition. still going strong Los Timbales, went there with my Mom as a boy and repeat repeat…webpage:

There is an inexpensive good chain cafeteria just across the Ventas call VIPS, Calle de Alcalà, 200. webpage:

The monumental Ventas official webpage:

The servitoro webpage has info in English and ticketing as the season is from March to October when possible if virus control:

Hope you have enjoyed the ride, and can understand the world of bullfights, heck I have seen cow fights as well, but they get extra treatment and well fed, we end up having some later too! Hope you enjoy this post on the Monumental of Ventas, Madrid, and fully understand this art is more than just the bulls, its a Spanish tradition the world comes over to see. And now for many years also in several Latin American countries as well as in France.

And if the post made you an aficionado, mundotoro or world of the bulls will tell you all the news about it in Spanish:

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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